The Senate Finance Committee late yesterday unanimously agreed to send a bill regarding Vermont Yankee's relicensure to the full Senate.
The committee voted 7-0, without recommendation. That bill — S. 289 — is expected to be debated on the Senate floor next Wednesday. The full text of the bill is below.
The bill, if approved, would allow the Vermont Public Service Board and other state regulatory agencies to issue a 20-year license extension after conducting their own investigation.
If the Senate approves the bill, it moves to the House. If the Senate votes no, then it means the issue is likely dead — legislatively — for this session. The House could take up its own version, but that appears unlikely.
This does not prohibit another bill from being introduced when a new legislature is convened in January, nor does it close down entirely the investigations currently under way by the Public Service Board, the Public Service Department, and the attorney general.
Whether the case ends up in federal court remains an open question, but the Senate vote may not be the trigger that sends it there — at least not if there is hope for another vote down the road.
For now, however, as I point out in this week's "Fair Game," it does provide a political boost to Senate President Pro Tem Peter Shumlin.
Check out Seven Days' complete Vermont Yankee coverage from this week's special issue on this hot issue.