Dear Governor Cuomo:
We urge you to direct the Public Service Commission and other relevant state entities to halt the plan to mandate ratepayer subsidies for nuclear power plants in upstate New York. The Nine Mile Point, FitzPatrick and Ginna plants are inefficient and unsafe power sources and should be decommissioned. Instead, New York should invest in energy efficiency and cleaner, safer alternative energy sources.
New York’s overburdened ratepayers simply should not have to fork over billions of dollars to subsidize aging nuclear plants, some of which were commissioned in the Vietnam era. This proposal is a staggering hit to New Yorkers, especially residents of the City’s five boroughs, Westchester, and Long Island who already pay some of the highest electricity rates in the nation. Nearly 60% of the bailout would be paid by downstate consumers, a figure far greater than the percentage of electricity that downstate ratepayers derive from the upstate plants they would be taxed to subsidize.
New York State’s proposed multi-billion dollar subsidy, which is essentially a “ratepayer tax,” to financially support these unsafe, obsolete and inefficient nuclear power plants is also a misallocation of resources. Energy efficiency measures and newer, cleaner sources of power are more cost-effective, better for human and environmental health and create more jobs.
There is still time for New York to turn away from this ill-advised proposal. As governor, the relevant state entities take their direction from you. For instance, your administration can refuse to approve the sale of the FitzPatrick nuclear plant by the November 17th deadline. You can and should use your authority to accelerate the state’s momentum in pursuit of a cleaner, safer energy future, while at the same time limiting the unneeded financial burden on New York ratepayers’ strained budgets.