OSWEGO, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Upstate Energy Jobs Coalition (UEJ), a group including elected representatives, business leaders, organized labor, education institutions, economic development organizations and community leaders, today voiced their support for the New York Public Service Commission’s (PSC) latest responsive proposal detailing the nuclear provision within the Clean Energy Standard (CES), a measure introduced by Governor Andrew Cuomo that mandates 50 percent of all electricity consumed in New York by 2030 come from clean and renewable energy sources. The PSC proposal, issued on July 8th, properly values upstate nuclear plants for their contributions to the state’s clean energy goals.
“Governor Cuomo and the PSC deserve to be recognized for issuing a proposal that would keep our upstate nuclear energy plants open, and in doing so, allow the state to meet its clean energy goals,” said L. Michael Treadwell, CEO of The County of Oswego Industrial Development Agency. “The PSC’s findings are in line with the independent findings of the Brattle Group and the Navigant Group that affirm that the value of keeping New York’s upstate nuclear plants operating is substantial and far outweighs any costs associated with the program. In fact, upstate nuclear plant operators will also be investing $700 million in these plants between now and May of next year. There is no doubt that in issuing the CES, we would not only be satisfying the state’s clean energy goals, but also the goal of supporting the upstate economy. We therefore urge the timely implementation of the CES to ensure that our upstate nuclear plants are preserved today in order to meet our clean energy and economic goals of tomorrow.”
The PSC proposal highlights that as a result of keeping upstate nuclear plants open through the CES, the state will avoid 15.5 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually, and retain 2,600 highly qualified upstate jobs. PSC staff found that the “benefits of paying for the zero-emission attributes far exceed the costs.” A PSC press release from July 8th also notes the overwhelming benefit of keeping these plants open, stating that “Staff estimates that investing $965 million in the first two years of the program for the carbon value of the nuclear units, electric customers and the State will realize $5 billion in benefit” for a net benefit of $4 billion.
A Brattle Group report from December 2015 also finds that upstate nuclear plants help save New Yorkers $1.7 billion in electricity bill costs each year.
Finally, an additional analysis by the Brattle Group finds that in the early years that the CES (up until 2023) is implemented, over 75% of the carbon avoided by the program is directly attributable to preserving upstate nuclear. The component, which would preserve upstate nuclear, called Tier 3, is responsible for over 50% of the CES program’s lifetime financial benefits from carbon avoidance, despite incurring only 21% of the program’s overall costs. The report also found that from the standpoint of ratepayer costs, the benefits of keeping electricity prices low are 36 times greater than the program costs to support the upstate nuclear plants.
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.