Gov. Shumlin addresses Vermont Yankee closureStefan Hard / Staff Photo
Gov. Peter Shumlin addresses the planned closing of Vermont Yankee after 2014, announced Tuesday by plant owner Entergy, in a press conference Tuesday at his office in Montpelier. From left are Shumlin, Sen. Phillip Baruth, D-Chittenden, Commissioner of Labor Annie Noonan, and Sen. Anthony Pollina, P-Washington.
MONTPELIER — Gov. Peter Shumlin emphasized two themes in response to the news that Entergy will close the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in October of 2014: Jobs and green energy.
The governor spoke to reporters in a hastily-organized press conference this morning in Montpelier, flanked by Speaker of the House Shap Smith, Attorney General William Sorrell, and other elected and appointed officials.
“This is the right decision for Vermont and it's the right decision for Vermont's clean energy future,” Shumlin said.
The governor said his office received a call from Entergy this morning shortly before the company went public with the news, and he hasn't had much time to work on the specifics, but that Entergy had promised to work with a Rapid Response Team from the state's Department of Labor during the transition to closure.
He also said he had a “constructive” conversation with the CEO of Entergy Louisiana, Leo Denault, and that “...the spirit of the call was to emphasize my commitment and our commitment as a state to ensuring we work together with Entergy and with everybody involved to find a great future for the hardworking employees of Entergy Louisiana in Vernon.”
He also pledged to make use of the power plant site in Vernon.
"We're gonna be working very hard to ensure that we return the plant to a green field so that we can use it for other energy and economic development opportunities to grow jobs in Windham County," he said.
Shumlin and Speaker Smith declined to get too far in to specifics about the future of the power plant's decomissioning fund (the balance is currently at about $580 million of a roughly estimated $800 million to $1 billion or more needed to carry out the decommissioning), and Sorrell said that the future of some of the ongoing litigation between the state and Entergy depends at least in part in how the corporation proceeds.
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