As a legislator, I live in two worlds – my hometown of Vernon, and the Statehouse in Montpelier. Although separated by two hours of interstate driving, Vernon and the Statehouse have priorities in common these days: they both hope to see clean, prosperous economic development of the Vermont Yankee site, as soon as possible. Vernon needs replacement tax revenue and the jobs of a new, major industrial employer. Montpelier desires the potential revenue to fund state spending. And, they both expect an environmentally sound, financially viable plan to retire the site.
I have met personally with senior NorthStar executives and have attended public meetings at which they described their financing and construction plan to finish the job by as soon as 2026 – less than 10 years from now. Both the federal government and our state government will hold separate, year-long hearings to exhaustively analyze the NorthStar plan. After studying NorthStar’s plan, and from what I know about the project and the regulatory process, I do not believe Vernon, Windham County or the rest of Vermont will financially or environmentally be left “holding the bag,” as some people suggest.
In fact, my main concern is that if this project is burdened with too many spurious conditions, the deal may collapse and Vernon and the Statehouse will once more be looking at 50 years of economic stagnation at the Vermont Yankee site. I sincerely hope that all of the intervenors and regulators involved will not let this can be kicked 50 years down the road.
Rep. Mike Hebert,