Yesterday morning the New York State Senate Committee on Energy and Telecommunications held a public hearing in New York City to discuss the Indian Point Contingency Plan being conducted by the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC). The hearing examined the impacts of potential outcomes on the state’s environment and particularly air quality, as well as ratepayer costs, reliability and competitive markets.. Representatives NYPA, the NYS Department of Public Service, Con Edison, Entergy, NYISO, IPPNY, Central Hudson, Utility Workers Union, The Business Council and Riverkeeper met with a bipartisan group of state senators and provided oral testimony regarding this issue.
Members of the Senate attending the hearing included Senator Maziarz, Senator Ritchie, and Senator Carlucci.
It was revealed through testimony that NYPA admitted developers for replacement generation would not pay mitigation costs and subsequent witnesses showed those costs would be borne by ratepayers. Likewise, Consolidated Edison testified that the implementation of the contingency plan will likely lead to a large rate increase and additional surcharges for not only its customers, but also possibly for ratepayers across the state, who it is wrongly claimed will also derive some benefit from Indian Point’s closure.
Senator George Maziarz (R-C, Newfane), Chairman of the Committee, said “Shifting the cost of mitigation and creating increases to ratepayers across the State is outrageous. The costs of closing Indian Point should not be paid by customers across the State and increasing the rates and surcharges for all New Yorkers is unacceptable. It was important that we parse out in this hearing what the costs will actually be and how it would affect New Yorkers.”
Senator Maziarz noted that NYISO, an expert on grid reliability testified that should the plant stay open, there is absolutely no reliability needed for New York City until 2019, leaving plenty of time for the market to respond, rendering the proceeding moot. Furthermore, Entergy, who operated the Indian Point Facility are a major source of jobs, tax revenue and economic activity for the state, and closure threatens all of that.
“Entergy’s ownership of Indian Point and FitzPatrick approximately 2,000 individuals are employed, many of whom are highly-skilled, full-time workers and members of various labor unions including the UWUA, Teamsters, Boilermakers, Carpenters, Laborers, Steamfitters and Engineers,” said Senator Maziarz. “The State of New York enjoys substantial economic benefits from the ownership of these nuclear units, and closure of the Plant would severely hurt the economy of not only that region, but of the state. Through the testimony offered today, it is clear that the cost of closing Indian Point is substantial and it cannot be ignored.”