Overwhelming Support For Upstate Nuclear Plants From Diverse Set Of Voices

OSWEGO, NY – The Upstate Energy Jobs Coalition, which includes hundreds of business, education, labor, and economic development leaders, as well as IBEW Local 97 and The Central and Northern New York Building and Construction Trades Council on Monday (June 20) highlighted the diverse set of voices that are rallying in support of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Clean Energy Standard due to a measure that will value upstate nuclear energy plants for the carbon-free energy they produce, leveling the playing field and ensuring that these plants are able to contribute to New York’s cleaner energy future.

“The public comments of major stakeholders, along with the Cost, Brattle, and Navigant studies frequently cited within them, demonstrate, yet again, the groundswell of support that exists for keeping upstate nuclear energy plants open by establishing the CES and the tremendous value that these plants bring to the table for the state and the CES itself,” said L. Michael Treadwell, CEO of the County of Oswego Industrial Development Agency. “As we approach the moment when the final CES is set to be issued, Governor Cuomo and the PSC should be encouraged by the broad support of so many voices for a CES that recognizes nuclear as a reliable, carbon-free source of energy today that will help the state reach its clean energy and emission reduction goals of tomorrow.”

Below is a sample of recent public comments in support of the nuclear provision in the CES:

·         Climate scientists, scholars, and environmentalists on 06/06/16: “We are writing as scientists and conservationists concerned about the future of New York’s nuclear power plants. Dealing with climate change requires that 100 percent of our electricity derive from clean, low-carbon energy sources. We thus applaud your efforts to include nuclear in a new, clean energy standard.”

·         ConEd on 06/06/16: “Both the Cost Study and the Navigant Study demonstrate the importance of nuclear energy to reducing GHG emissions in New York. In fact, the Cost Study shows nuclear energy contributing to more GHG emissions reductions than renewable energy resources through 2027. Navigant’s modeling delivers similar results, indicating that earlier nuclear retirements will increase CO2 emissions by 12 percent by 2023 and seven percent by 2030 when compared to a business as usual case.  …Early retirement of nuclear facilities puts New York at risk of exceeding its Clean Power Plan emissions targets, requiring the state to purchase out-of-state CO2 allowances. Should nuclear units retire, they would need to be replaced by an equivalent amount of incremental zero-emissions energy to simply maintain existing emissions levels, let alone pursue further reductions. Because nuclear units have such a high capacity factor, significantly more renewable energy resources would be required to replace them on an installed capacity basis: roughly 3.8 MW of wind or 4.8 MW of solar would be needed to replace each MW of nuclear capacity. These impacts could make the State’s CES goals out of reach for New York’s consumers from a practical as well as a cost perspective.”

·         New York State Labor Council on 06/06/16 : “As observed by The Brattle Group, there are tremendous benefits attributable to Tier 3 nuclear plants including the following:

•                      In the early years of the CES program, over 75% of the carbon avoided by the program is directly attributable to Tier 3, preserving upstate nuclear plants.

•                      Over the longer term, Tier 3 will account for more than half of the CES’s carbon reduction benefits, while it will incur only about one fifth of the program’s cost.

•                      Incorporating economic benefits in addition to the environmental benefits that were considered by the DPS, the total benefits of preserving the upstate nuclear plants exceed program costs by more than a factor of 70.”

·         Upstate Energy Jobs Coalition on 06/06/16: “Preserving the existing upstate nuclear plants would result in $700 million in environmental benefits annually, in addition to $1.7 billion in electricity costs annually. This savings would contribute to an additional $3.16 billion in annual GDP.”

“The state of New York has an opportunity to save nearly 25,000 jobs and ensure that the families and communities that rely on FitzPatrick, Nine Mile Point and Ginna nuclear energy plants are able to maintain their sense of economic livelihood,” said Theodore Skerpon, President and Business Manager of IBEW Labor 97.  “Governor Cuomo’s leadership must be acknowledged: in including support for upstate nuclear energy plants in the CES, he’s helping New York move one step closer towards establishing itself as an environmental leader and demonstrating that his commitment to the state’s economy and jobs is real.”