VPIRG News Release: U.S Department of Justice signals it won’t side with Entergy

DOJ signals it will not take Entergy’s side after all; VPIRG praises Sen. Sanders’ efforts

According to a statement released earlier from Sen. Bernie Sanders’ office, the U.S. Department of Justice “has no plans to intervene in a legal fight over the fate of the Vermont Yankee nuclear reactor at this time.”

Sen. Sanders had previously learned that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission had held secret meetings with Entergy Louisiana and subsequently voted 3-2 in a secret meeting to urge the DOJ to take Entergy’s side in litigation over the future of Vermont Yankee.

“This is welcome news to Vermonters and Sen. Sanders deserves tremendous credit,” said Paul Burns, Executive Director for VPIRG.  “Sen. Sanders worked tirelessly not only to expose the shady dealings between Entergy and federal regulators, but also to convince the Attorney General that it would be a mistake to intervene on Entergy’s behalf.”

“This kind of principled advocacy is exactly what Vermonters expect of their delegation in Washington and Sen. Sanders came through with flying colors,” Burns added.

Entergy is suing the State of Vermont in a novel legal effort to keep its crumbling nuclear reactor on line past its scheduled retirement date of March 2012.  Though Entergy failed to convince more than four senators out of thirty to support its cause in a legislative vote last year, the company sought help from the Justice Department in its quixotic legal battle this year.

“Just as the intentions of the cockroach are sometimes stymied by turning on a light, so too were the nefarious efforts of Entergy sidetracked in this case by the outspoken diligence Sen. Sanders,” said Burns.