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Digger tidbits: yankee "impairment" hurts entergy stocks; speaker says budget bill will be stripped by grass lawn

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Digger tidbits: yankee "impairment" hurts entergy stocks; speaker says budget bill will be stripped by
Article Posted: 06/22/2012
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Articles Written: 975
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Digger tidbits: yankee "impairment" hurts entergy stocks; speaker says budget bill will be stripped

Business,Business News,Business Opportunities
Entergy Corp. stock dipped by almost a dollar per share in partbecause of an impairment in connection with the Vermont Yankeenuclear plant. According to a an earnings report by the Louisiana-based companythat owns Vermont s only nuclear plant, actions by the state ofVermont to shut down the plant this year triggered quarterlyevaluations by Entergy. The company s quarterly report shows that the Vermont Yankee assetimpairment represented a $1.26 negative impact on earnings pershare. According to the company s report, A number of factors andinputs are used in the Vermont Yankee impairment evaluation,including the status of pending legal and state regulatory matters,as well as assumptions about future revenues and costs of theplant.

The company is currently in litigation with the state in the SecondCircuit Court of Appeals. Both Entergy and the state are appealinga lower court decision that found that two state laws requiringlegislative approval for the plant to continue operating violatedthe U.S. Constitution. The impairment, caused in part by legal wrangling with thestate, does not change Entergy s future outlook, according to itsquarterly report.

This impairment does not reflect a change in Entergy s point ofview of the economic value of the plant assuming continuedoperation through 2032, nor does it impact the company s continuedcommitment to invest to assure safe operations of the plant, whichis always the top priority, the report states. The report states that it also does not reflect a change in thecompany s point of view on the legal and state regulatoryproceedings surrounding the plant. Entergy is also seeking a new license from the Vermont PublicService Board. Its state license expired March 21 along with itscontracts with state utilities.

The plant continues to operatewhile the proceeding continues. All the power is being sold out ofstate. ~Alan Panebaker Speaker says budget bill will be stripped of amendments Speaker of the House Shap Smith today said he expected the budgetlegislation, which took on multiple unrelated amendments yesterdayin the Senate, to be stripped back down in conference committee. One Senate amendment would grant childcare providers the right tounionize and collectively bargain with state government.

I made it clear that if [that amendment] came over on the budget,I would not be able to support it as part of the conference, Smith said. The lack of support, he said, is due to the way the legislation ispresented, not a disagreement with its ideals. I believe it s an issue of great importance for Vermonters, andI believe that should stand alone for an up or down vote or on abill that actually deals with labor issues, Smith said. ~Taylor Dobbs House won't budge on philosophical exemption After the Senate approved a bill that would eliminate thephilosophical exemption for children s vaccines Monday, thelegislation has been largely neutralized after it met resistancefrom the House.

The legislation was drafted in the Senate and would remove thephilosophical exemption, which currently allows parents to lettheir children go unvaccinated if they have philosophicalconvictions opposed to immunization. The Senate approved the bill, S.199, on Monday. The House voted tokeep the exemption, which is utilized by about 350 families in thestate. There are also exemptions for religion and for children withweak immune systems who are likely to have health complicationsfrom vaccines. Rep.

Michael Fisher, D Addison, chair of the House Committee onHealth Care, said the house agrees that immunization rates are aconcern, but advocated a different approach. Given the numbers and given the level of concern, Fisher said, the house position is that we need to employ education andoutreach. Sen. Kevin Mullin, who chairs the Senate Health and WelfareCommittee and introduced the bill in the Senate, said public healthshould prevail. Mullin said the house is bending over backwards to accommodatethe concerns of the 350 families who use the exemption, and thatthe Senate was amazed public good doesn t win out.

Fisher said the House has compromised on the issue, adding languagethat would suspend the philosophical exemption if immunizationrates for certain diseases fell below 90 percent statewide.Senators advocated for school or school-district level monitoringand suspension, but the the House would not accept that plan. It s the Senate s turn to make a proposal or accept the houseidea, Fisher said in an interview. It seems Senators are taking the latter path; the conferencecommittee is set to meet again Monday to discuss the house schanges to a working group tasked by the legislation with studyinghow to best protect immunocompromised students who are put atrisk by unvaccinated peers. ~Taylor Dobbs Senate passes search and rescue study bill The Vermont Senate today passed a version of a search and rescuereform bill that was developed by Senator Vince Illuzzi (REssex-Orleans) in the Senate Committee on Economic Development,Housing and General Affairs.

The Senate version differssignificantly from H.794, the search and rescue bill which passedunanimously in the House last week, most notably by omittinginterim search and rescue protocols and by calling for licensing ofstate emergency medical services providers. The Senate bill alsocalls for a smaller legislative study committee, and requires it toexamine both search and rescue and emergency medical services. Senator Illuzzi stated that a small legislative study committeewill be best able to pull together the disparate volunteer searchand rescue groups around the state, and that the interim protocolsenvisioned by the House search and rescue bill were unnecessary. Since the Vermont State Police already has modified it search andrescue protocols, now automatically alerting the local firedepartment of a potential search and rescue need, we felt that nointerim law change is necessary, Illuzzi said.0 2 We would liketo wait until the study recommendations are developed beforeenacting legislation. He noted that examining both search andrescue protocols and emergency services licensing andorganizational requirements will improve emergency services forVermonters.6.

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