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View Diary: Court to Vermont: "Drop Dead" (200 comments)

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  •  I'm not sure what you're saying (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    campionrules, HeyMikey, marleycat, Losty

    You seem to be reading Adam B as implying that "Vermont can['t] pass laws regarding nuclear power." But I don't think the last phrase can be severed: the judge found that Vermont can't pass laws regarding nuclear power that supersede the federal restrictions. Is that wrong?

    Thanks for clarifying the premise of the diary, which wasn't clearly stated. I suppose Entergy has an account of why this lawsuit is completely consistent with the memorandum?

    Oh, I see.

    In 2006, the Vermont General Assembly passed a law that invalidated a key provision of a 2002 Memorandum of Understanding signed by ENVY, ENOI and Vermont officials when the company purchased Vermont Yankee. Under that provision of the MOU, Entergy’s two subsidiaries had agreed to seek a certificate of public good from the Vermont Public Service Board if it sought to operate the plant beyond March 21, 2012. This was in accordance with the process and standard for securing the state certificate in effect at that time. As the complaint alleges, Vermont repudiated the MOU, breaching that agreement and excusing the two Entergy subsidiaries’ obligation to further comply with that specific provision.

    “The 2006 state law took the decision about Vermont Yankee’s future away from the Public Service Board, a quasi-judicial expert decision-maker, independent of legislative control,” said Smith. “It instead placed Vermont Yankee’s fate in the hands of political decision-makers, namely the state General Assembly and governor who could deprive Entergy’s two subsidiaries of the opportunity to operate the Vermont Yankee plant beyond March 21, 2012, for unsupported or arbitrary reasons. This is not what we signed up for in 2002.”

    link to

    That sure does sound like corporate PR, and it makes me want to read the memorandum. I found it here. What seems to be the relevant part is in point 12:

    Each of VYNPC, CVPS, GMP, ENVY and ENO expressly and irrevocably agrees: (a) that the Board has jurisdiction under current law to grant or deny
    approval of operation of the VYNPS beyond March 21, 2012 and (b) to waive any claim each may have that federal law preempts the jurisdiction of the Board to take the actions and impose the conditions agreed upon in this paragraph to renew, amend or extend the ENVY CPG and ENO CPG to allow operation of the VYNPS after March 21, 2012, or to decline to so renew, amend or extend.

    That seems to say that Entergy can't challenge the Public Service Board's jurisdiction, not that it can't challenge the legislature's jurisdiction. Am I missing something? I haven't followed the legal arguments at all, and I've barely skimmed the decision. But maybe Entergy does have the better of this particular set of arguments. (You didn't express an opinion on that, and I know I'm in no position to have one.)

    •  All authority of the PSB in this and any other.... (7+ / 0-)

      ...matter derives from the Legislature.  The Legislature empowers and authorizes the PSB as well as restricting and directing it. Vermont can pass laws regulating nuclear power, except it can't preempt federal law and regulation regarding nuclear safety specifically.

      "So, am I right or what?"

      by itzik shpitzik on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 06:39:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Basically - If I understand the Opinion correctly: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Adam B

      The judge ruled that the MOU was too limited in it its scope and did not, in fact, cover the claims brought by Entergy - particularly the preemption aspect.

      Additionally, he goes on to say that even if the MOU had been more sweeping - and not just covered the Board's ability to grant CPG's - it would have likely still failed as the judge believes that the Federal right to govern Nuclear safety has supremacy over any State Legislature.  

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