The Vermont Public Service Board earlier this week held the last of two public hearings on whether a Certificate of Public Good should be issued allowing continued operation of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant.
A Certificate of Public Good is basically a state operating license for a utility in Vermont. In 2010 the Vermont Legislature barred the Public Service Board from issuing the certificate after Vermont Yankee’s license expired last March. The plant has remained operating during legal challenges. The Public Service Board reopened an amended petition for the Certificate of Public Good earlier this year. The only public hearings were held November 7th in Vernon and November 19 at 13 sites across the state via Vermont Interactive Technologies. Ethan Allen Institute Energy Education Project Director Meredith Angwin was not surprised to find that comments were evenly split on whether to issue the state license.
Angwin, who supports continued operation of Vermont Yankee and blogs on its importance, attended both public hearings.
A coalition of groups opposed to continued operation of Vermont Yankee rallied the weekend before the last hearing and members of the affiliated groups also attended the public hearings. Vermont Public Interest Research Group Executive Director Paul Burns says reliability and economics prove that the plant is not in the best interest of Vermonters.
Both Burns and Angwin believe the Public Service Board will fairly assess the comments from both sides.
Technical hearings and depositions regarding issuance of a Certificate of Public Good for Vermont Yankee are scheduled through August of 2013.