Vermont Law School Faculty Weighs In

VT Yankee Commentary from Vermont Law School FacultyThe future of nuclear power nationally could be influenced  by the outcome of a federal lawsuit over the troubled Vermont Yankee nuclear plant in Vermont, which is why the case is being watched so closely nationwide. Vermont Law School faculty experts will provide ongoing analysis of the environmental, constitutional and political implications of Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee, LLC et. al. v. Shumlin et. al. as the case unfolds.

The views expressed are those of individual faculty members and not of Vermont Law School or any organizations affiliated with VLS.


  • Sept. 20, 2011, Cheryl Hanna: A Brief Post on Severability hanna-thmbJust a few quick thoughts in light of Don’s analysis.  Pat, Don and I have speculated that one option for Judge Murtha is to somehow send this case back to the Public Service Board to make a final determination under Act 248. If he did find that Act 248 can be severed from her sister ...
  • Sept. 16, 2011, Cheryl Hanna: Agreeing with Pat (sort of, but don’t tell him that) hanna-thmbThanks, Pat, for that post on the meaning of Judge Murtha’s questions.  I have to agree with you that the judge’s interest at the end of the trial, particularly about Entergy’s possible waiver and estoppel claims, was both surprising given his seeming lack of interest in those arguments and heartening if you represent the state.  I ...
  • Sept. 13, 2011, Cheryl Hanna: Further Thoughts on the Trial hanna-thmbNeither Professor Parenteau nor I were able to attend the trial today.  And it is a bummer that I can’t attend Wednesday either because I would love to see Entergy attorney Kathleen Sullivan’s closing argument. Trust me, the federal courthouse in Brattleboro is the best place to be tomorrow — with the possible exception of ...
  • Sept. 12, 2011, LIVE POST FROM TRIAL: Day I Recap, Part II:VT to VY: You Lie The day finished with the State putting on two witnesses, one real, one virtual.  As we posted earlier, its first witness, Bill Steinhurst, ultimately added very little to the case.  He did make the claim that it would possibly make it harder for the state to meet its long term energy goals with Yankee on-line. ...
  • Sept. 12, 2011, LIVE POST FROM TRIAL: Cross-Examination of State’s First Witness Complete Entergy just finished its cross-examination of the state’s first expert. They never asked him how shutting down VY would frustrate the state’s goals of energy efficiency and diversity (especially in light of Seabrook). Entergy’s lawyer could have really gone after Mr. Steinhurst but didn’t. Probably wouldn’t have mattered. Despite the question that ...
  • Sept. 12, 2011, LIVE POST FROM TRIAL: The Longest Afternoon in Courtroom History hanna-thmbEntergy rested after a few brief depositions were admitted, and then the State put on it first witness, Bill Steinhurst, who has been involved with VT energy policy for more than two decades. It took the state 90 minutes to elicit the idea that VT has always been concerned about sustainability and efficiency in ...
  • Sept. 12, 2011, LIVE POST FROM TRIAL: Entergy to VT: If you don’t like us, dont buy our power Prof. Parenteau and I are at lunch so here is a quick recap. VYs case is still being framed around the argument that even if VT regulated for reasons other than safety, those reasons must be plausible. And they are not, the power company claims. The two witnesses that VY called this morning made that ...
  • Sept. 12, 2011, LIVE POST FROM TRIAL: Opening Arguments Just on a break. Started with opening arguments. Sullivan was brilliant and I couldn’t help but think how all those years in a classroom make a big difference in being clear. Main points were that the legislative record doesn’t support non-safety reasons and even if there were other reasons, and even if not ...
  • Aug 3, 2011, Cheryl Hanna: Entergy reports $315M in earnings for 2Q hanna-thmbIn case you missed it, Entergy just posted its earnings for the second quarter. It is likely that the decision to purchase fuel rods helped keep the stock price stable. http://neworleanscitybusiness.com/thenewsroom/2011/08/02/entergy-reports-1-7b-in-earnings-for-2q/ Print PDF
  • July 26, 2011, Cheryl Hanna: Attorneys’ Fees Requested in First Amendment Case before U.S. Supreme Court hanna-thmbHere is an interesting article on SCOTUS blog about the Brown v. EMA decision earlier this term striking down a California law that banned the sale of violent video games to minors: http://www.scotusblog.com/2011/07/a-rare-request-for-fees/ While not directly relevant (yet) to the Vermont Yankee litigation, there has been a lot of chatter in the media and on this ...
  • July 19, 2011, Cheryl Hanna: Preliminary Injunction Redux: Read the Footnotes hanna-thmbWhen my students first begin to study law, they have a tendency to focus on the holding of the case, such as “Preliminary Injunction Denied.” It’s like reading the headlines in a newspaper. But any good lawyer knows that the most important part of the decision is often found in the footnotes. And in Judge ...

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