PEEKSKILL, NY - The announcement on January 9th that the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant would be shut down by 2021 sent shockwaves throughout the Hudson Valley. Questions about the potential loss of jobs, the jolt to local economies and heightened security risks rained down upon the deaf ears of Governor Andrew Cuomo and Entergy, the engineers of the covert bailout that could literally leave thousands of residents in the dark.
As a State Senator representing the area affected by the plant's closure, and in his capacity as Chairman of the Senate's Investigations and Government Operations, Terrence Murphy has been relentless in his pursuit of information surrounding the decision to close the plant. In an effort to ask questions, find answers and felicitate an open dialogue within the community, Senator Murphy will host a public hearing at the Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 21 meeting hall, 1024 McKinley Street, Peekskill, on Thursday March 2nd at 6:30 p.m. Residents and business owners are encouraged to attend.
"There has been a lack of transparency, a dearth of information and a shocking lack of planning since the closing was announced," Senator Murphy said. "There are numerous questions that still have to be answered regarding jobs, the loss of generated energy, loss of revenue and safety. Until now the public has been locked out of the process by Governor Cuomo."
Senator Murphy, Senator Thomas Croci and Senator Joseph Griffo, who serves as Chairman of the State Energy Committee, will act as moderators. County and elected officials, representatives from local business organizations and union members are expected to attend and provide testimony. Among the expected speakers: Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, Westchester County Legislator John Testa, Cortlandt Town Supervisor Linda Puglisi, Buchanan Mayor Theresa Knickerbocker, Deb Milone, Executive Director for the Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber of Commerce, and John Ravitz, Executive Vice President for the Westchester County Business Council.
"The reality of the closing of Indian Point has caused tremendous uncertainty and concern throughout our communities. Thanks to Senator Murphy, we are continuing the public discussion and press for details as the extensive ripple effects of the closing come to light," said Westchester County Legislator John Testa. "The lack of planning and concern for the financial future by those proposing the closure requires us local representatives to demand facts and force a plan of action beneficial for those closely affected. We need the constant involvement with the public to make sure that happens."
Linda Puglisi, Cortlandt Town Supervisor said, "We thank Senator Terrence Murphy for his support regarding the many issues facing our community due to the announcement by Entergy and the Governor to close Indian Point's two nuclear plants in 2020 and 2021."
"I will be present at the Senator's public hearing to address the loss of jobs (1,200) and the loss of $33 million each year in revenue to the following: Hendrick Hudson School District ($23 million); Village of Buchanan ($4million); Town of Cortlandt (1$ million); and Westchester County ($4million). The Verplanck Fire Department and the Hendrick Hudson Free Library will also suffer financially," she continued. "All of these organizations have been participants since 2000 in a tax Payment in Lieu of Taxes (P.I.L.O.T) agreement since Entergy purchased theIndian Point plants from Con Edison.
"It is not that there will no longer be any more nuclear, that is not our point," she concluded. "It is that we are suddenly left with significant tax revenue losses and job losses and need assistance from the State and Federal governments."
"The closing of Indian Point has the potential for socio-economic devastation. Forty-six percent of the village's budget comes from a P.I.L.O.T agreement," said Buchanan Mayor Theresa Knickerbocker. "There are a thousand jobs on the line. We will have to deal with what happens to the spent nuclear fuels rods after the plant's closure and many other issues. I am glad we will have this opportunity to let the members of the community voice their opinion."
"Indian Point's planned closure and associated significant loss of tax revenue threatens to result in crushing tax burdens on local small businesses and homeowners, jeopardizing the economic prosperity of this area for a generation to come," said Deb Milone, Executive Director for the Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber of Commerce. "Senator Murphy instantly heard and responded to our concerns, and has sounded a clarion call that Albany needs to be involved and help in the development of a blueprint that will help us grow our local economy and increase tax revenues. We are grateful to him for his strong and forceful leadership."
Oral testimony is by invitation only. Written testimony can be submitted through email to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the Indian Point Hearing, contact Senator Murphy's District Office at 914-962-2624.