Nuclear Matters encourages the timely implementation of New York state's Clean Energy Standard (CES), including a provision that would properly value nuclear energy produced in the state for its carbon-free benefits. As proposed by the New York State Department of Public Service (NYS DPS) on July 8th, the program, if enacted, would value nuclear energy plants for their leading role in providing carbon-free power. These facilities will be an important element to meet the state's goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent and generate half of New York's electricity from renewable sources by 2030.
The need to implement the CES in a timely fashion is heightened by the announcement today around the potential sale of Entergy's FitzPatrick's nuclear power plant to Exelon. The CES is an essential policy to ensure the continued electricity production at that facility, in addition to the Nine Mile Point and Ginna nuclear plants. These three plants, according to a study issued by the Brattle Group, provide nearly 25,000 jobs, contribute over $3 billion to state GDP, and help save New Yorkers $1.7 billion a year in electricity costs.
Importantly, in the context of the CES, they also prevent over 16 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year. Accordingly, the NYS DPS proposal highlights the benefits of keeping nuclear power plants open, which far outweigh the costs.
"New York now has an opportunity to cement its status as a clean energy leader and help ensure cleaner air for generations to come. In addition to ensuring ample opportunity for more wind, solar, and energy efficiency, the state can recognize the important role of existing carbon-free nuclear power," said Carol Browner, former EPA Administrator and Nuclear Matters Leadership Council member. "In sending a signal to other states that existing nuclear deserves to be properly credited for its carbon-free energy through the CES, Governor Andrew Cuomo is setting the standard for a comprehensive approach to a low-carbon energy portfolio and will encourage other policymakers and regulators to similarly value nuclear energy for its clean air benefits."
"While we work to obtain the cleaner energy future of tomorrow, we must do everything we can to ensure that the sources of carbon-free energy that we have right now remain in our energy mix," said Nuclear Matters co-chair former Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH). "The time for swift implementation of the CES is now, in order to achieve meaningful change in the way that we value our carbon-free energy sources. Nuclear energy must be recognized for its zero-carbon footprint the same way other carbon-free sources of energy are in order to help prevent the premature shutdown of these valuable assets and benefit our energy security and economy for years to come."