For Immediate Release
May 25, 2016
Dozens of Syracuse-area residents are gathering at the Liverpool Public Library today to attend a public hearing on New York’s energy future. The hearing is the latest in a series being held across the state on the NY Public Service Commission’s proposed Clean Energy Standard policy. The policy would require that utility companies purchase specific amounts of renewable energy, with the goal of 50% renewables by 2030. The proposed policy also includes consumer subsidies for New York’s upstate nuclear reactors, and the requirement that utilities buy energy from unprofitable nuclear plants, despite the fact that nuclear energy is neither clean nor renewable. For more information see: www.CleanUptheCleanEnergyStandard.org
The hearings today are at 2pm and 6pm at the Liverpool Public Library. At 1pm, several organizations supportive of the renewable program but opposed to the nuclear subsidies held a press conference before testifying at the hearing. They called on Governor Cuomo and the Public Service Committee to strengthen the proposed policy by also enforcing energy efficiency targets on the utilities and committing to offshore wind. The groups also spoke out against the nuclear bailout.
Jonah Minkoff-Zern, Campaign Director of ‘Democracy is for People’ Campaign at Public Citizen, said: As technology forces utilities to alter their business model, it is critical that policymakers prioritize the ability of moderate- and low-income consumers to enjoy access to renewable energy. Forcing households to subsidize inefficient, aging nuclear power plants interferes with the goals of proving sustainable, affordable and reliable energy for all families.
Peter Swords, member of the Nuclear Free World Committee of the Syracuse Peace Council, said: Families struggle to meet basic needs for rent, health care, food and energy. NY’s Clean Energy Standard could bring fair access to safe, clean, affordable electricity while creating many new jobs in the growing green energy industry. But the Tier 3 proposal to force utilities to buy increasing shares of their power from nuclear plants would undermine this community-building vision. By bailing out a couple of big corporations for undetermined billions, the nuclear option would do a very inefficient job of holding onto a limited number of jobs for a relatively short time.
Howie Hawkins, with the New York Green Party, said: Nuclear plants should not receive subsidies from ratepayers. Subsidize instead the nuclear plant workers and the neighboring communities so that there can be a just transition to an equitable clean energy economy.
Joseph Heath, Attorney for the Onondaga Nation, said: Nukes are not clean & they are not a “bridge fuel”–they are another bridge to nowhere. Actually, they are a bridge to leaving highly radioactive spent fuel rods with half lives of millions of years.
Jessica Azulay, Program Director with Alliance for a Green Economy, said: The proposed nuclear subsidies are uncompetitive, and designed to shield nuclear companies from competition from lower cost resources like efficiency or wind. For years, the nuclear industry has been complaining that it is not valued for its contributions toward carbon-emissions reductions. They have asked to be put on a level playing field with wind and solar. But that’s not what the proposed policy does. Instead, it’s a blank check uncompetitive subsidy to Exelon Corporation.
Contact: Jessica Azulay