ALBANY, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) held a technical conference in Albany to discuss a provision in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposed Clean Energy Standard (CES) which would prevent the closure of upstate nuclear energy plants by properly crediting them for the carbon-free power that they generate. A range of attendees and members of the Upstate Energy Jobs coalition (UEJ), including elected representatives, business leaders, organized labor, education institutions, economic development organizations and community leaders highlighted their support for the CES’s timely implementation to preserve the overwhelming economic and job benefits that upstate nuclear plants bring to the region. UEJ members also applauded Governor Cuomo’s leadership in recognizing the need to keep these plants open, underscoring that the time to act to save these plants is now.
“Today’s conference demonstrated that there is a groundswell of support in favor of keeping our upstate nuclear plants operating,” said L. Michael Treadwell, CEO of the County of Oswego Industrial Development Agency. “The nuclear provision of the CES would help shield already struggling local communities from the deafening economic blow that the closure of FitzPatrick, Ginna and Nine Mile Point would cause. It is critical that policymakers move swiftly to ensure the CES’s timely implementation, and act to preserve upstate New York’s jobs and economic well-being.”
According to a recent Brattle Group report, upstate nuclear energy plants are responsible for $144 million in net state tax revenues annually, which includes over $60 million in annual state and local property taxes. In addition, upstate nuclear facilities help keep electricity prices for New Yorkers low. In fact, in the absence of nuclear plants upstate, New Yorkers would pay over $15 billion in the next ten years on a present value basis, based on findings from the same report. The environmental contributions also cannot be overstated, as upstate nuclear plants prevent nearly 16 million tons of carbon emissions annually, which equates to a societal value of almost $700 million annually based on federal estimates.
“New York must act immediately to implement the CES or further jeopardize upstate New York’s economic stability. The CES would help save the $3.16 billion upstate nuclear facilities contribute to the state’s economy, along with 25,000 full-time jobs that families depend on for their livelihood,” Theodore Skerpon, President and Business Manager of IBEW Local 97 said. “We must also remember that the impact of plant closures doesn’t stop at individuals working directly with the nuclear plants, but also extends into the businesses and schools that depend on the facilities as economic drivers.”
“We must encourage all stakeholders, industry leaders and policymakers to continue the dialogue around supporting the CES much like the gathering we saw today,” said Randy Wolken, President and CEO of The Manufacturers Association of Central New York. “The fate of upstate nuclear facilities should concern all New Yorkers as we strive to reach our environmental goals and preserve our economy.”
About Upstate Energy Jobs Coalition
Upstate Energy Jobs (UEJ) is a growing coalition of more than 130 upstate New York elected representatives, business leaders, members of organized labor, education institutions, economic development organizations and community leaders who are leading efforts to raise awareness among policymakers of the importance of keeping upstate New York’s nuclear energy plants open. For more information or to voice support for preserving the region’s economic and environmental security, go to upstateenergyjobs.com.