Sorrell in denial, still getting it wrong
Our Attorney General continues to be in denial about whether the state overstepped its boundaries when it tried to close Vermont Yankee. He told a federal appeals court that the federal judge who ruled in favor of Vermont Yankee “got it wrong” when he decided that safety was the Vermont Senate’s main motivation for voting against the plant back in 2010.
Someone needs to give our state prosecutor a reality check. Of course safety was the main concern. And it still is. Hasn’t he been paying attention to the loud, unceasing voices of anti-nuclear fear for the last few decades? For that matter, wasn’t he paying attention when Entergy’s attorneys played audio recordings in court featuring multiple Vermont senators stating their opposition to Vermont Yankee because of safety reasons?
I suspect Attorney General Sorrell is actually choosing to pay attention to Vermont Yankee’s very vocal opponents in hopes of re-election support. He certainly isn’t paying attention to the obvious truth that above all, concern for safety motivated our legislators then, and drives them still. If, as they claim, they were really concerned about “reliability”, they wouldn’t be betting on unreliable, intermittent, renewable power, which operates at full power only for a fraction of the 24-hour day and at unpredictable times.
It’s too bad the State has to waste millions more of our tax dollars trying to convince a federal court of something that anyone who really has been paying attention knows is just plain wrong.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Die-hard opponents of Vermont Yankee have high hopes for the recent federal court ruling about the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s guidelines for storing spent fuel from the nation’s 104 nuclear power plants, which produce about 20 percent of U.S. electricity – all of it competitively priced and emissions-free. That’s the “change” – the NRC is being told to revise, or at least clarify, its plan for storing spent fuel.
The “stay the same” part is the response of Vermont Yankee opponents: in effect, “shut ‘er down.” That’s what they say about virtually every development on the state and federal scene: shut ‘er down. Vermont Senate votes: Shut ‘er down. Someone builds a wind turbine: Shut ‘er down (VY, not the turbine). Preferred outcome of lawsuits and Public Service Board proceedings: Shut ‘er down. Economic depression in Windham County: Too bad for you folks, shut ‘er down.
Fortunately neither the NRC nor the federal courts nor, I hope, the Vermont Public Service Board, share this myopic, dead-end agenda. The NRC’s job is to make sure that nuclear plants operate safely without harming the environment – a job it does extremely well, as there have been no radiation-related deaths at U.S. nuclear power plants in the last 50 years.
The “shut ‘er down” mentality runs contrary to federal policy, because it is eager to usurp federal responsibility for the regulation of nuclear safety. I expect the anti’s will be frustrated, again. And for the sake of a strong economy and a clean environment, that’s as it should be.
Hyde Park, Vermont
Saturday July 7: Green Mountain Patriot’s monthly meeting. 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM. Map and directions
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