VT Yankee Injunction Denied

A variety of news sources around the state have reported that a federal judge has ruled in the state’s favor regarding the status of the troubled nuclear power plant in southern Vermont:

Judge Denies Entergy’s Request for Injunction

The first round in the legal battle between the state of Vermont and Vermont Yankee goes to … the state. A federal judge on Monday denied Entergy Vermont Yankee’s request for a temporary injunction against the state of Vermont.

The company is suing the state to keep it from shutting down the Vernon nuclear reactor in 2012. Entergy was pushing for an early resolution to the suit because of a fuel-buying deadline. The judge denied the request, clearing the way for a full trial in September.

Attorney General Bill Sorrell and Gov. Peter Shumlin praised the ruling by U.S. District Court Judge J. Garvan Murtha, while ENVY officials offered a tempered response.

But, while Judge Murtha ruled in the state’s favor this round, his ruling leaves wide open the chance that he’ll rule in Entergy’s favor when it comes to issuing a decision later this year when the case goes to trial.

Despite the denial, Murtha made it clear he was only denying the temporary injunction and moving for an expedited trial on the broader issues raised by ENVY’s suit against the state of Vermont, Gov. Shumlin and the Vermont Public Service Board. That trial is scheduled to begin September 12.

“In the unique circumstances presented in this case, only permanent injunctive relief could likely ameliorate the alleged harms, and therefore trial on the merits has been accelerated. This court declines to order short-term drastic and extraordinary injunctive relief that will not offer certainty either in the short or long term, and will have no operative effect on state actions before trial,” Murtha wrote in his 18-page decision.

Read the full article here.