To the Editor,
Climate change and its threat of extreme weather events loom dangerously, as we well know after seeing the devastation of Hurricane Sandy and the continuing extreme weather events across the country, caused by fossil fuel emissions. Additionally, these emissions are threatening the health of our elderly and young, especially the underserved, who suffer daily from chronic asthma.
It’s imperative that we transition from fossil-burning electric generating plants that produce greenhouse gases to clean alternatives such as wind turbines and solar power to improve air quality.
But wind and solar cannot do it today and may never be able to do it alone. Their intermittent nature requires that we have a base load of electricity generators that operate continuously to ensure our lights stay on.
On the other hand, the Indian Point nuclear power plant, which is in the midst of a 20-year license renewal, provides nearly 30 percent of New York City’s and Westchester’s electricity while emitting virtually no greenhouse gases.
Indian Point critics worry about safety but the plant has operated safely for over 40 years. In fact the independent U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has continually given the plant its top safety grade. We need Indian Point to continue operating to fight against climate change, to keep today’s air as clean as possible, and as a bridge to a clean energy future.
Frank Fraley, president
(Safe, Healthy, Affordable, Reliable and Electricity) is a coalition of businesses, clergy, and community leaders located in NYC