Entergy and act 160

by John McClaughry

This piece originally appeared as a WDEV commentary

The Sunday Times Argus had an interesting story by reporter Peter Hirschfeld about Gov. Shumlin’s running battle with Entergy and the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant.

The front page story runs 53 column inches, and it contains eye opening revelation. The 2006 legislature passed Act 160, which conferred upon the legislature the power to prevent the Public Service Board from approving continued operation of Vermont Yankee past March 2012. Gov. Shumlin was widely quoted as saying that ‘Entergy’s lobbyists, executives and lawyers all participated in the [legislative] process. Indeed, Entergy expressed its support of that law at the time.”

Reporter Hirschfeld incontrovertibly shows that Gov. Shumlin’s statement is simply not true. Hirschfeld went to the archives in Middlesex and dug out the tapes of Entergy testimony on the bill that became Act 160. On three occasions Entergy’s lobbyist unequivocally expressed Entergy’s opposition to the bill before Senate committees. Now Peter Shumlin is manufacturing his own version of history.

This is the kind of ethically questionable performance Vermonters are used to getting from Bernie Sanders. Both Sanders and Shumlin are quick to declare what they want to believe is true, or what they want everybody else to believe is true, to advance their personal agendas.

There was a time when most Vermonters would say that the people demand better from their elected officials. Whether a majority even cares about being misinformed any more, I don’t know.

John McClaughry is vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute