Bill’s Big Blunder

Attorney General Bill Sorrell’s choice to appeal the right to close Vermont Yankee turned out to be unsuccessful, and it drained the state of time and resources to pursue realistic and effective goals. Sorrell then turned around and applauded the reversal of a decision that the state had violated Entergy Corp.’s constitutional rights, which would have cost Vermonters $5 million for covering Entergy’s attorney fees.

Sorrell’s boasting optimism hides behind the sorry truth that the reason Vermont was on the hook for attorney fees originally was because Governor Shumlin and the Democrats in control of the legislature decided to pick a fight with VT Yankee, when it clearly was not appropriate or effective. The state of Vermont did not have the jurisdiction to close Yankee, but Shumlin’s administration and the legislature went ahead with the fight because of pure politics.

In the same breath, our Attorney General attacks his former primary opponent, TJ Donovan, by claiming that,

Those who questioned taking the appeal, including, allegedly, my primary opponent, through the lens now that appeal was worthwhile.

It’s unfortunate for Sorrell, however, that Donovan whole-heartedly backed the losing fight against Yankee, stating,

I supported the appeal. I think Vermont Yankee should be shut down.

Sorrell now has his back against the wall after the embarrassing legal defeat. He is desperately reaching out for any type of political victory, whether it is in boasting of taxpayer money saved that never should have been put in financial danger in the first place, or in incorrectly attacking his past opponent for opposing a decision that he, in reality, supported.

Peter Shumlin, Bill Sorrell, and the legislature’s choice to fight Vermont Yankee, no matter how one views the power plant, was ill-advised, inappropriate, and ultimately ineffective. The state of Vermont has nothing to show for it now, except wasted resources. Vermonters deserve an Attorney General that protects the state in a responsible manner and who is separated from politically-motivated decisions. Bill Sorrell clearly has not lived up to those expectations.

Discussion - 2 Comments
  1. Bob Stannard

    Aug 16, 2013  at 12:42 PM

    It might be helpful for your readers to know a little background. The laws that were passed were supported by Entergy, because Entergy benefited financially from the 20% uprate, and the ability to store some high-level nuclear waste in dry casks here in Vermont forever (or until the casks leak).

    Back then no one ever anticipated that Entergy would lie to the PSB and that their plant would leak. It was then Gov. Jim Douglas who was demanding that the legislature take a vote on the continued operations of VY. He pulled back from his demands once we all learned that we had been deceived by VY’s corporate execs. Once this news broke, then Pres. Pro Tem of the Senate, Peter Shumlin, went forward with Gov. Douglas’ demands and held the vote, which was 26-4 against allow VY to continue past March of 2012. Even Sen. Randy Brock voted against Entergy.

    Entergy could have acknowledged the vote, and the wishes of the people, and abided by the decision, but instead it opted to sue Vermont (not the other way around). Vermont, through the AG’s office, had no choice but to defend itself and the laws the state had passed; with Entergy’s support.

    If there was a mistake made it was that the legislature of ’04 trusted Entergy to do the right thing and abide by the laws it supported.

    We are now in the “fool me once; shame on you. Fool me twice; shame on me” stage with this corporation. They have proven beyond any doubt that they are not trustworthy and a bad business partner. We are no longer buying any power from them. After hiding behind their employees they are now laying 30 of them off. You might take a look to see who these people are and whether or not they opted not to publicly support the company.

  2. Robert A. Oeser

    Aug 17, 2013  at 12:42 PM


    “We REVERSE the district court’s determination that Vermont’s efforts to condition a new Certificate of Public Good for Vermont Yankee on the execution of a favorable power purchase agreement violate the dormant Commerce Clause.”
    “Finally, we VACATE the district court’s permanent injunction enjoining the defendants from conditioning the issuance of a Certificate of Public Good on the execution of a below-wholesale-market power purchase agreement between Entergy and Vermont utilities or otherwise requiring Vermont Yankee to sell power to Vermont utilities at preferential rates.”

    12-707-cv (L)
    Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee, LLC v. Shumlin, p. 53

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