Shumlin calls for a Senate vote on operation of Vermont Yankee before March break

first_imgSenate President Pro Tem Peter Shumlin today announced that the Senate will vote before the town meeting break on whether or not relicensing the Vermont Yankee nuclear power station to operate beyond its scheduled closing date is in the best interest of Vermonters. “It is the responsibility of the General Assembly to vote on the continued operation of Vermont Yankee,” Shumlin said in a prepared statement. “We have a responsibility to provide Vermonters and Vermont businesses a direction for our energy future, provide our electric utilities with sufficient time to secure delivery of energy, and in the event that the plant ceases operating as scheduled in 2012, provide the workers at Vermont Yankee adequate time to secure employment.”  Shumlin has asked the Senate Finance Committee to take up the legislation relating to the continued operation of the Vermont Yankee nuclear energy generating plant this week.  The full Senate is expected to consider the question of continued operation before legislators return home for town meeting. “Vermonter’s deserve better than what Entergy Louisiana has to offer.  The reactor is too old to operate reliably past its scheduled closure in 2012.  The corporation has misled our public officials and the people of Vermont,” said Senator Peter Shumlin.  “Vermonter’s confidence in Vermont Yankee has been further marred by Entergy’s attempt to create a debt ridden spin off corporation to take ownership of the plant.  The cleanup fund is already more than half a billion dollars short and Vermonters cannot afford a corporation that may shift that cost to ratepayers.  There is also frustration with Entergy/Enexus’ power purchase proposal, which would raise Vermonter’s electricity rates by nearly 50 percent and provide us with only 11 percent of our power. Operating Vermont Yankee beyond its scheduled closing date of March 12, 2012, is not in the best interests of Vermonters and unnecessary delay is an irresponsible option for our energy future.”Vermont Town Meeting day is March 2 this year.Source: Shumlin’s office. 2.16.2010last_img read more

Vermont’s economy second-fastest growing in nation

first_imgIn the third quarter of 2009, Vermont’s gross state product went up 5.3 percent over the previous quarter. This increase ties Vermont with Washington, DC, at second place nationwide in terms of growth. New Hampshire saw a 3.8 percent climb this quarter, and sits at ninth place. The US average was 2.2 percent.Vermont’s quarterly real gross state product in this quarter, seasonally adjusted, was $23.8 billion at constant 2005 prices. In the second quarter, the state’s GSP was $23.5 billion. Vermont’s GSP dropped by a 0.1 percent annual rate in the third quarter from the same quarter a year ago.Growth Across the NationQuarterly Gross State Product (GSP) Briefing, February 2010Gross State Product (GSP)Rank Vermont GSP, Third Quarter of 200915.825.335.344.854.664.474.283.993.8103.8113.8123.6133.6143.5153.4163.0173.0182.8192.7202.7212.7222.5232.5242.4252.4262.4272.3282.3292.2302.2312.2321.9331.6341.6351.5361.3371.2381.0Vermont’s Quarterly State Accounts @ a Glance391.0400.9Third Quarter of 2009410.8420.8Gross State ProductSeasonally Adjusted Annual RatesGrowth & Inflation430.6or State GDP GSP / GDP in Billions of DollarsPercent Change in440.5State & NationalLatest Quarter AgoYear Ago Third Quarter of 2009 from450.4Statistics2009:Q32009:Q22008:Q3Quarter AgoYear Ago 460.1Vermont 51-3.5● Real GDP*$12,973$12,902$13,3252.2%-2.6% 2.2    *Chained 2005 dollars.   **Current Dollars.   ***Index, 2005=100.*Annual % change from the previous quarter in GSP at 2005 chained dollars.Source: US GDP, Department of Commerce.  State GSP, also called state GDP, from ‘Quarterly GSP Trends,’ Vol. V, No.3, February 2010, by e-forecasting.com, Durham NH, USA.Source: www.e-forecasting.com(link is external) 2.25.2010. 47-0.3● Real GSP*$23.8$23.5$23.85.3%-0.1%48-0.4● Nominal GSP**$25.7$25.5$25.52.7%0.5%49-0.9● GSP Price Index***107.8108.5107.3-2.4%0.5%50-1.2United States last_img read more

Vermont launches renewable energy atlas

first_imgThe Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund (VSJF) is excited to celebrate Earth Day with the launch of the Renewable Energy Atlas of Vermont, a state-of-the-art GIS-based web application that identifies, analyzes, and visualizes existing and promising locations for renewable energy projects.The Atlas is the first tool of its kind in the United States to enable users to choose their town or county and then select from a suite of renewable energy options including biomass, efficiency, geothermal, hydroelectric, solar, and wind.According to Atlas project director Scott Sawyer, “with the proliferation of energy committees in over 90 towns and cities, it’s clear that Vermonters want a renewable energy and efficiency based economy. VSJF believes it’s important to make renewable energy data accessible to everyone, so that citizens, businesses, utilities, state agencies, and organizations charged with building the state’s future can make informed renewable energy project decisions.”The Atlas was developed by the VSJF, in collaboration with Vermont Center for Geographic Information, Fountains Spatial, and many helpful renewable energy experts.U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy secured U.S. Department of Energy funding for the Atlas project. “Vermont has always stood for best practices in commercial and residential development to preserve the environment,” Leahy said. “The Renewable Energy Atlas of Vermont will be an important tool in helping us all to consider the responsible energy options when thinking about our renewable energy future. Successful projects mean greater energy security, a cleaner and healthier environment, and a better quality of life across our state.”Major funding for this project was received from the U.S. Department of Energy through U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, the Vermont Clean Energy Development Fund, and the Vermont Community Foundation.Source: VSJF. 4.22.2010last_img read more

Vermont gasoline prices near national average

first_imgAverage retail gasoline prices in Vermont have fallen 0.5 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.89/g yesterday. This compares with the national average that has increased 4.1 cents per gallon in the last week to $2.90/g, according to gasoline price website VermontGasPrices.com.Including the change in gas prices in Vermont during the past week, prices yesterday were 84.6 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 5.9 cents per gallon higher than a month ago. The national average has increased 7.9 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 84.3 cents per gallon higher than this day a year ago.Source: VermontGasPrices.com 5.3.2010last_img

University Mall boasts 100 percent occupancy

first_imgUniversity Mall has announced a 100 percent occupancy rate, as of September 2010, in itsr 612,000-square-foot, 75-store shopping mall located on Dorset Street in South Burlington, Vermont. The full occupancy comes with the addition of several new stores including a 6,778 sf Rue21, opening August 26, a 585 sf Lids and a 25,500 sf Spirit Halloween, both opening in September, and the temporary relocation of Bath & Body Works while their current space undergoes renovation.  Also, Things Remembered, an engraving kiosk will open next to McDonald’s in September.  Avenue A, a locally owned women’s clothing store, has relocated to the mall’s south end to accommodate Rue21.  University Mall is family-owned by Finard Properties LLC of Burlington, Massachusetts and was founded by William Finard in 1979.Source: University Mall. 8.19.2010last_img read more

Leahy scorches Pentagon over stop-work order for GE’s F35 engine

first_imgGE Aircraft Engines – Rutland Operation,Senator Patrick Leahy yesterday lambasted the Pentagon for its decision to issue a stop-work order on General Electric’s version of the jet engine for the F35 fighter jet. Some of the components for the engine are made by GE in Rutland. The principal contractor for the engine is Pratt & Whitney. Leahy and others in Congress had been able to continue funding for the GE version through stop-gap measures as Congress continues to work on a new federal budget. However, the House declined to add the GE funding to the latest interim budget bill. The Pentagon subsequently ordered GE and partner Rolls Royce to stop work on the engine. However, GE has decided to self-fund continued work on its engine. Leahy’s spokesman, David Carle, issued the following statement Thursday evening:”Today Defense Secretary Gates and Ash Carter, undersecretary for acquisition, issued a stop-work order to GE and Roll Royce on the F136 alternate engine for the F-35.  They did this administratively, during the current short-term budget bill ‘ the current stop-gap appropriations bill that funds the government until April 8.  Senator Leahy engineered language in the first continuing resolution, last December, which prevented the Pentagon from doing this back then.  Subsequent stop-gap bills written since then by the House have not included his preventive language, and they are doing now what he knew they wanted to do last year, if given the chance.  Senator Leahy believes this is an opportunistic power grab by the Pentagon, egged on by Pratt & Whitney, to circumvent what should be a decision by Congress, not by a federal agency.  He believes it is the wrong decision, which would eliminate competition for the troubled Pratt & Whitney engine and cost taxpayers more.”Senator Leahy’s Twitter tweet yesterday: “Pentagon’s stop work-order for #GE #AltEngine is wrong for #F35 & taxpayers. No competition=higher cost & inferior engine for F35. “Carle also said that Leahy’s allies on this have also criticized the stop-work order. He said they will continue to push for continuation of the alternative engine program.  Carle said Leahy commends GE Aviation for continuing work in the meantime.last_img read more