Nuclear plant

15K NYer’s To Gov: ‘No Nuke Bailout’ & Protest Planned At Aug 1 PSC Meeting



Updated July 28, 2016
Contact: Jessica Azulay, (315) 480-1515,

Advocates Plan to Protest Against $7.6 Billion Nuclear Subsidy & Bailout at Aug. 1 NYS Public Service Commission Meeting

Over 15,000 New Yorkers have submitted comments opposing the nuclear subsidy and calling for renewable energy

Consumer rights and environmental organizations question how much nuclear subsidy will raise electricity bills across the state

Albany – Over a hundred organizations, energy stakeholders, and over 15,000 New Yorkers have raised alarm over the New York State Public Service Commission’s proposal to give failing upstate nuclear plants approximately $7.6 billion in electricity consumers’ money over 12 years, increasing electricity bills across the state. By proposing this increase and subsidy to one nuclear corporation – Exelon – as part of the state’s Clean Energy Standard,the nuclear subsidy would be double the cost of what is proposed for renewable energy. Groups and advocates have questioned the state’s rationale and have been calling on Governor Cuomo and the Public Service Commission to consider other options, such as putting that Clean Energy Standard money toward real clean energy like energy efficiency, wind, and solar. This week, the Albany Times Union’s Editorial Board also called into question the wisdom of the nuclear bailout.  And yesterday, news broke that Exelon, the nuclear energy company that would get the entire $7.6 billion subsidy, has agreed to purchase ConEd’s energy retail business, raising concerns that Exelon is quickly assembling an energy monopoly in New York: controlling an unprecedented share of the state’s electricity supply, supported by massive direct subsidies, and reducing competition in the electricity retail market while acquiring ConEd Solutions’ statewide customer base.

Groups are planning to protest the $7.6 billion nuclear bailout and subsidy at the August 1 Public Service Committee meeting in Albany. They say the Governor and the Public Service Commission cannot ignore the 15,000 New Yorkers, who submitted public comments on the Clean Energy Standard, voicing strong opposition to the proposed nuclear subsidies and demanding renewable energy.

When: Protesters will begin gathering before the Monday August 1, Public Service Commission meeting, which starts at 10:30am. Exact time to be announced.  

Where: Empire State Plaza, Agency Building 3, Albany, NY

Who: New York environmental and consumer advocacy organizations, advocates and residents

What: New Yorkers to protest the $7.6 billion nuclear subsidy and bailout at the NYS Public Service Commission meeting on the Clean Energy Standard.


On Friday July 8th, the proposed subsidies for nuclear plants in the NYS Clean Energy Standard jumped from $270 million to $7.6 billion, and a plan to lock in these subsidies for the next 12 years. This plan would put twice the amount of money into nuclear subsidies as it would toward renewable energy. The public was given only 10 business days to comment. Over 15,000 residents submitted comments and more than 100 organizations and elected officials submitted a letter asking a series of 8 crucial questions including questions about how this will increase electricity bills for residents across the state and if alternative plans for aggressively scaling up renewable energy with related jobs were considered. The groups noted in the letter that nuclear plants support just over 2,000 jobs, and that many of those jobs – approximately half – could remain for years to come during the lengthy shutdown process and dealing with the radioactive waste. Similar money in renewable energy and efficiency would create far more jobs.  The groups also noted in the letter: “Regarding energy reliability and fossil fuel use, the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO), the agency responsible for ensuring a reliable electricity supply, has determined that the FitzPatrick and Ginna nuclear plants can shut down immediately with no reliability impacts and no need for new coal or gas power plants.”  An earlier letter to the Governor from over 100 organizations and small businesses challenged the justifications for the nuclear subsidies and offered alternatives to address concerns over job losses and greenhouse gas emissions.

Several NYS legislators have questioned the $7.6 billion subsidy to Exelon. NYS Assemblymember Amy Paulin, Chair of the NYS Senate Committee on Energy also submitted a letter to PSC Chair Zibelman asking thirteen questions of the nuclear subsidy on July 19th (copy and paste url link into browser):{36C022B1-510F-4EEB-8F83-0EEB5381D946}.

NYS Senator David Carlucci, a member of the Senate Energy Committee, sent a letter to Zibelman calling on the commission to deny the nuclear subsidy proposal and to consider alternatives, such as an agreement reached in California last month, to phase out nuclear facilities, replace them with renewable energy sources, and rehire nuclear workers for decommissioning and other utility operations. Sen. Carlucci also decried the characterization of nuclear power as “zero-emissions” and the PSC’s failure to consider its significant environmental impacts:

NYS Assemblymember Ellen Jaffee Chair of the New York State Assembly Committee on Oversight, Analysis and Investigation voiced her opposition to the $7.6 billion subsidy and asked PSC Chair Zibelman to grant the NYS Legislature oversight in the subsidy and allow for the Legislature to have 60 days to publicly comment (copy and paste url link into browser):{2833F27E-0A93-4582-A204-8F9541161DC6}. Assemblymember Jaffee said: “The Public Service Commission’s new proposal to impose a nearly $8 billion nuclear tax on average ratepayers is unacceptable, largely out of public view, and is being pushed with undue haste… I am gravely concerned about this development in a case that was represented to be about supporting large-scale renewable energy, but in fact is now about a bill to subsidize the nuclear industry, an industry that is neither presently, nor has ever been, independently financially sustainable but rather relies on taxpayers’ subsidies.”

Politico NY: Cost, fairness of Cuomo’s nuclear subsidy comes under scrutiny –

Jessica Azulay of Alliance for a Green Economy in Alternet: New York’s Governor Would Rather Prop Up the Nuclear Industry Than Invest in Renewable Energy –