It looks like IBM’s decision to finally announce publicly that their business prospects here in Vermont depend on keeping Vermont Yankee open has caught Governor Shumlin a little flat footed. Given that the shutting down of Vermont Yankee was a major issue that he campaigned on, and was a major driving factors for his major backers such as the leadership at VPIRG, one would think that he would have a plan in place to replace Vermont Yankee as an inexpensive source of power. After all, we have been told all along by VY’s critics that it would be a simple matter of replacing them. Surely a major political figure like Governor Shumlin would not be so irresponsible as to push for shutting VY down without a credible “plan B”. Unfortunately, that is just what is happening.
In a WCAX-TV article entitled “Shumlin works to keep power costs down at IBM”, Governor Shumlin was quoted as saying: “I find it a bit surprising,” said Gov. Peter Shumlin, D-Vermont. “I am standing here without a plan for the other obvious option which was it be closed down on the date it was designed to be closed down.” How can this be the obvious option if there is no plan for such an option?
The article points out the following: “Finding out where Vermont gets its power is a thorny issue and at least one lawmaker believes the whole issue may end up in federal court, giving Vermont more time to figure out where and when the state would get its power if Vermont Yankee shut down.”
So this whole matter might end up in federal court because Vermont’s political leadership has been so short sighted that they have deciding on a course of action with no thought to how a practical alternative would work. I can not think of a case of poor planning that shows more ineptitude than this mess.