17 Nov Letter to Public Service Commission
Members of the Public Service Commission:
We write to urge you to postpone the sale of the Fitzpatrick nuclear power plant under consideration at your November 17th meeting. Postponing that decision will allow you to initiate a comprehensive public review of all power options, before taking another step towards the agreement to use an estimated $7.6 billion of New York ratepayer money to bail out unprofitable nuclear power plants located near Rochester, N.Y. and Oswego, N.Y.
We have seen no independent analysis that examined all of the power options available to the state to provide the energy necessary to meet New York’s needs if these plants were decommissioned. The Commission also provided no such analysis while it was considering whether to provide the immense $7.6 billion bailout.
In an effort to fill that apparent information gap, we submit to the Commission a detailed analysis conducted by Mark Jacobson and his colleague Felix Cebulla. Professor Jacobson is the Director of the Atmosphere/Energy Program in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University. Mr. Cebulla works at the German Aerospace Center, Institute of Engineering Thermodynamics, Department of Systems Analysis and Technology Assessment.
These experts have produced an analysis (see attached) that reviews various options available to the state of New York, including the massive subsidies approved this past August. Their analysis concludes:
“In sum, in all cases examined, subsidizing the three upstate nuclear reactors to stay open increases both CO2 and costs relative to the renewable scenarios,”
The Jacobson/Cebulla analysis undermines the purported rationale for the massive subsidy: that keeping the nuclear plants open is the only way New York can achieve the greenhouse gas emissions cuts it needs. Further, it shows that alternative renewable scenarios are also more cost-effective for New Yorkers. Given that nearly 800,000 New Yorkers cannot pay their current utility bills, and the thousands more who struggle to make ends meet, an efficient and cost-effective program is essential.
We urge that you postpone action on approving the sale of the Fitzpatrick plant. Instead, we urge that you begin a public process to comprehensively review all of the power options available to the state and then restart your regulatory process to consider your recommendations.
Blair Horner, The New York Public Interest Research Group
Alex Beauchamp, Food & Water Watch
Download the letter to PSC and the Energy Analysis here: