Thursday, May 10, 2007

State Senate Approves Vermont Yankee Tax

The new tax increase on Vermont Yankee that we wrote about earlier this week passed the state senate:

Without a word of debate or even a roll call, the Senate voted Wednesday for a bill designed to encourage energy efficiency and renewable energy, along with an increase in the state's tax on Vermont Yankee to pay for it.

The tax on Vermont Yankee's electric generation would claim $25 million from the nuclear power plant's owner, Entergy Corp., between 2009 and 2012. The House is expected to vote on the bill Friday, when it's likely to face debate.

Though the tax is significantly less than a $37 million profits tax the Senate previously proposed, the company and the governor remain opposed to it.

"This is still a case of a deal not being a deal," Entergy spokesman Brian Cosgrove said. "How do we know what's next?"

David O'Brien, commissioner of the state Department of Public Service, called the tax "irresponsible," and said it would hurt utility companies' negotiations for electric rates with Entergy if the nuclear power plant is relicensed in 2012.

O'Brien wouldn't say whether that means Gov. Jim Douglas would veto the bill, but he said the governor's opposition is strong.
That's good news.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Idiots. Instead of taxing the polluters, they tax the non-polluters. It's like, "you emit no greenhouse gases, so we're going to tax you to make up for those who do." Punish the innocent and let the guilty off scot-free. Yeah, that makes sense.

Anonymous said...

But it does make a kind of sense if you consider taxes as compulsory dividends, or tribute. When legislators and their staffs get tribute from polluters, they find it rewarding to put noneconomic barriers in the way of clean alternatives, i.e. nuclear. If they get some tribute from nuclear, that incentive is reduced.

--- G. R. L. Cowan, former H2 energy fan
Oxygen expands around boron fire, car goes

Anonymous said...

I've always viewed taxes as an economic disincentive. A heavier tax burden negatively impacts the bottom line of a business. Encouragement of business generally takes the form of a tax break. That is why the so-called "renewable" energy industry is heavily subsidized through tax breaks and credits. With Vermont Yankee, you have an example of a non-polluting energy source being penalized through selective taxation. Doesn't really send a good message to those concerned about maintaining a clean environment.