To the editor: Why approve Certificate of Public Good for Vermont Yankee?


A settlement agreement announced on Dec. 23, 2013 by Gov. Peter Shumlin, Attorney General William Sorrell, the State of Vermont, and Entergy recommends that the Vermont Public Service Board approve the Certificate of Public Good for Vermont Yankee to continue to operate until the end of 2014. The plant’s continued operation through the year will help to ensure a smooth transition of Vermont Yankee to a closed, decommissioning power facility. Without approval of the Certificate of Public Good, the settlement agreement will likely be nullified. The following are five reasons why the PSB should approve the certificate by its deadline of March 31, 2014.

 The proposed Certificate of Public Good …

1.        Enjoys broad support and resolves major legal and economic quagmires
Both the State of Vermont and Entergy support the settlement agreement and the Certificate of Public Good. Without a certificate, the Vermont Yankee situation will revert to the pre-Dec. 23, 2013 status of expensive legal wrangling, job uncertainty for plant employees, no cash for economic development or renewable power and no agreement on decommissioning.

2.        Prompts an accelerated decommissioning and enables enactment of a prompt, detailed decommissioning plan
The agreement establishes the potential for a more prompt decommissioning and site restoration than would otherwise be required by federal law. Entergy commits to filing a site assessment by Dec. 31, 2014 – many months sooner than required by federal law – and featuring evaluation of the costs of both SAFSTOR (extended) and DECON (more prompt) decommissioning.

3.        Will release millions of dollars for site restoration
Within 30 days of the issuance of the certificate, Entergy has agreed to establish a separate site restoration trust fund with an initial deposit of $10 million.  This is the first installment of $25 million that will be provided by 2017.

4.        Helps transition Vermont to a renewable energy future
Within 30 days of the issuance of the certificate, Entergy has agreed to contribute $5.2 million into the Vermont Clean Energy Development Fund, with half of this money earmarked for the benefit of Windham County.

5.        Provides a boost for the economy
For each of the next five years – 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 – Entergy has agreed to pay $2 million per year to the State of Vermont to promote economic development in Windham County. By April 15, 2015, Entergy has agreed to make a $5 million tax payment to the State of Vermont.

Guy Page
Communications director
Vermont Energy Partnership
Montpelier, VT


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