Deb Lazar/The Commons
Judge J. Garvan Murtha presiding over last month’s hearing over Entergy’s request for a preliminary injunction to prevent Vermont from enforcing laws that regulate nuclear power at the Vermont Yankee nuclear station in Vernon.
News editor Randolph T. Holhut contributed to this story.
Originally published in The Commons issue #110 (Wednesday, July 20, 2011).
In his official statement, Shumlin said that “Vermont has acted and will continue to act responsibly regarding our energy future, and we will continue to work hard to ensure that our laws are enforced and respected.
He called the lawsuit “an attack on state authority, attempting to deny us a voice regarding whether Vermont Yankee will run past March 2012 — even though Entergy has known since 2002 that it could not operate the plant past that date without state approval.
“I believe strongly in the state’s authority, and I believe that Entergy has not been an honest, fair, and responsible player for Vermont."
Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell told Vermont Public Radio on Monday that he was pleased by the ruling.
“The judge didn’t buy that Entergy would suffer irreparable harm if they didn’t get this injunction,” he said. “Now at the same time, he reinforces the fact that it’s set for an early trial date and we’ll get a decision on the merits well in advance of the end of next March.”
NRC Spokesperson Neil Sheehan said the commission maintains a position of non-involvement and has no plans for action at this time.
The NRC has yet to make public the result of the commissioners’ vote regarding asking the Department of Justice to intervene on Entergy’s behalf in the case.
“The ruling is good news for the people of Vermont. The law is very clear that Vermont has the right to close the plant based on economic and other considerations,” wrote U.S. Sen. Bernard Sanders, I-Vt., in a statement on Monday.
Sanders called the NRC to task in recent weeks on its “secret vote” to involve the DOJ.
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