The legal saga over Vermont Yankee took another twist Wednesday, as an anti-nuclear group petitioned Vermont's Supreme Court to shut the plant down for operating without its license.
This hearing is unique because what you have is a citizen's group, called the New England Coalition, asking the Supreme Court to interrupt the Public Service Board process. The anti-nuclear group is petitioning the state's high court for an injunction to shut down Vermont Yankee for operating without its certificate of public good before the Public Service Board has issued its final decision about renewing that CPG.
New England Coalition's argument to the five-judge panel was simple. Vermont Yankee's certificate of public good expired last March. The Public Service Board hasn't renewed the plant's CPG, and state law says it cannot operate without it and must close. But Entergy's lawyer argued that Yankee is still operating because of a federal judge's ruling that prohibits the state from shuttering the plant before the federal case plays out.
"There's a possibility for an unseemly confrontation here between the great courts of the state and the federal court," said Kathleen Sullivan, the lawyer for Entergy.
"The only way for the state of Vermont to exercise any meaningful control over this corporate citizen is for this court to act and to act promptly," said Brice Simon, the lawyer for the New England Coalition.
There's no time table on when Vermont's Supreme Court will rule on this issue. Hearings by the Public Service Board on Yankee's CPG are not scheduled until this summer.
This case comes two days after Entergy fought a separate legal battle against the state of Vermont over the Constitutional rights of Vermont Yankee and whether Vermont lawmakers violated the plant's rights by considering safety when voting not to extend its operating license.