Last week President Obama pledged to build America's first new nuclear plants in three decades in Georgia. This week in Vermont, lawmakers voted to shut down the aging Vermont Yankee reactor. "The plant is old and tired," Peter Shumlin, president pro tem of the state senate, said Tuesday. "It was designed to be retired in 2012, and that's what we're going to do." Though nuclear reactors provide energy without emitting harmful greenhouse gasses as a byproduct, Vermont lawmakers were concerned about safety scares at the plant, including a cooling-tower collapse a few years ago and a tritium leak this year. Officials in Washington shot back at Vermont, saying, "Nuclear's just easy for them to pick on."