Thursday, January 19, 2017

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Groups sue to end ratepayer subsidies of aged nuclear power plants

Photo of the soon to be shut down Indian Point,
taken from the Clearwater

BEACON – Hudson River Sloop Clearwater and a number of co-petitioners filed in Supreme Court a challenge to the recently enacted mandatory 12-year nuclear subsidy that is expected to cost New York ratepayers between $7 billion and $10 billion.

The surcharge was ordered by the state Public Service Commission as part of its Clean Energy Standard.

The petitioners argue that the $7.6 billion nuclear subsidy imposed on the state’s electricity consumers was unjustified and that the PSC did not follow the law when it enacted them.

The subsidies will be paid by ratepayers on their monthly energy bills based on usages. That cost will “most seriously impact low-income ratepayers and businesses operating on a thin profit margin,” the groups said.

“New Yorkers who are currently using and who are committed to renewable energy and who are paying additionally for Renewable Energy Credits for 100 percent of their electrical needs should not also be billed for this $7.6 billion nuclear plant subsidy,” said North Salem Town Supervisor Warren Lucas.

“This action has brought to challenge the PSC’s nearly $8 billion bailout of the unsustainable and polluting nuclear industry, based on the mistaken premise that nuclear energy production is emission-free,” said attorney Susan Shapiro, owner of petitioner Goshen Green Farms. “Nuclear energy is not, nor has it ever been emission-free, as it routinely emits radiation, heat and greenhouse gases, which are all climate change catalysts.”

Clearwater Environmental Director Manna Jo Greene noted at Diablo Canyon in California, they are phasing out their last nuclear plant by committing to 100 percent renewable replacement energy, while protecting plant workers by retaining those with critical institutional memory and highly technical knowledge. She said they are also retraining those who are not needed for safe decommissioning, and placing them in jobs in the renewable energy economy.

“New York needs to create a just transition plan, not a prolonged nuclear bailout,” Greene said.

 


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