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Vt. GOP leader hits Democrats over nuclear plant

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 16, 2013 at 4:12 pm •  Published: August 16, 2013

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — The chairman of the Vermont Republican Party attacked Attorney General Bill Sorrell and his fellow Democrats on Friday over their efforts to close the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant.

The criticism from GOP chairman Jack Lindley came two days after a federal appeals court ruled against Vermont, writing that state laws aimed at closing the Vernon reactor when its license expired in 2012 were pre-empted by federal law.

"Vermonters deserve an attorney general (who) protects the state in a responsible manner and who is separated from politically motivated decisions," Lindley said in a statement. "Bill Sorrell clearly has not lived up to those expectations."

He added that Gov. "Peter Shumlin, Bill Sorrell, and the legislature's choice to fight Vermont Yankee, no matter how one views the power plant, was ill-advised, inappropriate, and ultimately ineffective. The state of Vermont has nothing to show for it now, except wasted resources."

The legal battle with Vermont Yankee's owner, New Orleans-based Entergy Corp., was triggered in 2010, when the Vermont Senate voted 26-4 against a measure that would have authorized a state board to grant Vermont Yankee a permit to operate for an additional 20 years. Lawmakers were concerned about the plant's safety, age, and misstatements by plant management about components at the reactor.

Four Republicans, including last year's GOP gubernatorial nominee, then-Sen. Randy Brock, joined the majority in favor of closing the plant, but Lindley said in an interview Friday the vote was "ill-advised. It was just not the right thing for the state of Vermont."

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