Clean Energy Standard A Big Step Forward But How Do We Replace Indian Point

To the Editor,

The Clean Energy Standard (CES) that ensures upstate nuclear plants continue to operate provides far-reaching environmental benefits for all New Yorkers, not just upstate, as some have asserted.

The plants avoid 16 million tons of carbon emissions released into the air we breathe. Importantly, according to one analysis, the CES’s nuclear provision is responsible for over half of the CES program’s lifetime financial benefits from carbon avoidance, despite incurring only 21% of the program’s overall cost.

Furthermore, closing the upstate nuclear plants would drive electricity prices higher for all New Yorkers as more expensive—and dirtier–plants would need to be brought on-line.

The huge coming challenge will be to replace the 2,000 megawatts from downstate’s Indian Point nuclear plant which is slated to close in just four years. How do we replace it? Where does it come from?

Replacement power should not have an impact on the already overburdened urban communities that suffer from high rates of asthma, which is epidemic among the young and elderly. And it should not drive up electricity costs beyond the ability of our seniors and disadvantaged to pay for them.

These are the things that SHARE-NY stands for. The economic and potential environmental impacts on New York City and Westchester residents and businesses from Indian Point’s closure are not trivial and in fact, could be devastating for many.

Will new plants be built? Or will old, dirty ones be restarted? We implore the State to ensure a public process that assures the voices and concerns of affected communities will be heard. Let’s not now take a big step backward.

Sincerely,

Frank Fraley, president – SHARE-NY

SHARE (Safe, Healthy, Affordable, Reliable Electricity) is a coalition of businesses, clergy, and community leaders located in NYC