OSWEGO, NY – State Senator Patty Ritchie summed up Entergy’s announcement that it plans to shut down the James A. FitzPatrick nuclear power plant in one sentence.
“To say that the news concerning FitzPatrick is disappointing is a serious understatement,” she told Oswego County Today.
Governor Andrew Cuomo expressed the same sentiments.
“The closing of the James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant will devastate the lives of the more than 600 employees and their families. Good corporate citizenship must appreciate that there are many factors that count as the ‘bottom line.’ The State of New York will pursue every legal and regulatory avenue in an attempt to stop Entergy’s actions and its callous disregard for their skilled and loyal workforce,” he said.
Several other elected officials also weighed in on the news that the company decided to close the plant is “based on the continued deteriorating economics of the facility.”
The key drivers cited by the company include significantly reduced plant revenues due to low natural gas prices, a poor market design that fails to properly compensate nuclear generators like FitzPatrick for their benefits, as well as high operational costs.
Assemblyman Will Barclay vowed to keep fighting for jobs.
“I am deeply disappointed by the news that Entergy has decided not to refuel the FitzPatrick nuclear plant. As a community, we have done all we can to support the plant and its employees,” Barclay said. “Apparently, our efforts were all for not.”
U.S. reps. John Katko and Richard Hanna issued a joint statement.
“We were incredibly disappointed to learn that Entergy announced its intent to close the FitzPatrick Nuclear Plant. As our community moves forward, we will do everything that we can to support FitzPatrick employees, their families, local leaders and all of Oswego County. There is no question that the plant’s closure would be a huge loss to our region,” they wrote.
“Over the course of the past month, Entergy has been in talks with state of New York about the future of FitzPatrick. We hope the company will detail these conversations and inform the community as to what efforts were made to prevent the closure of the plant,” they continued.
Barclay said his first concern is for the plant employees and their families.
“This has been a difficult two months for the 615 employees. I am also concerned how this closure will impact the community,” he said. “We urge the Governor and Entergy to please go back to the table to save these jobs. We must do more to secure what we have. I will continue to fight until the last moment for the employees and the continued operation of the plant.”
“FitzPatrick is a major employer and the effect of Entergy’s decision will be felt by hundreds of hardworking employees and their families, as well as taxpayers, small businesses and communities across Oswego County and Central New York,” Sen. Ritchie added. “That’s why I joined with the region’s other representatives to show our support for the plant, the workers and the impacted communities. Notwithstanding today’s announcement, I am urging the company and the state to continue discussions aimed at finding a way to reverse this decision.”
“We also urge the company and the state to continue their dialogue in the hopes of reversing the decision,” Katko and Hanna said. “Absent a solution, our hope is that the company and the state will do everything possible to mitigate the challenges faced by the community.”
“FitzPatrick is simply too important to New York’s energy security, as well as the financial security of so many families, to leave this decision unchallenged,” Sen. Ritchie agreed. “It is my hope that working together, we can find a way to continue the plant’s operation and protect these jobs and the future of these communities.”