Business and Labor Leaders Urge New York Department of Environmental Conservation to Drop Indian Point “Forced Outages” Proposal
For Immediate Release
Warn measure will mean “lost jobs, higher electricity prices, significantly lower electric reliability, and vast economic uncertainty” and that it “creates more environmental problems than it solves”
New York, NY/July 17, 2014 – A group of 21 prominent business and labor leaders today sent an open letter to the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) in opposition to a proposed policy, issued May 21, that would require the Indian Point nuclear power plant to be shut down for long periods during every summer.
The letter to DEC Commissioner Martens states, “The DEC proposal would mean lost jobs, higher electricity prices, significantly lower electric reliability and vast economic uncertainty. Indeed, the price increases will be in the billions of dollars … The proposal also creates more environmental problems than it solves.”
The letter, signed by leaders of organizations which employ hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers, also states, “Closing Indian Point for several months a year, especially in the hottest months when electricity is needed most, sends a very negative message to companies considering re-locating to New York or expanding here that the state is hostile to business.” The full text of the letter is below.
Arthur “Jerry” Kremer, chairman of the New York Affordable Reliable Electricity Alliance (New York AREA) said, “The DEC’s proposal will cause tremendous public inconvenience and accomplish little. While it is designed to protect fish, fish eggs, and larvae, it will spawn more environmental problems than it will solve, while significantly harming the economy.”
The DEC is also holding two public sessions on the “forced outages” proposal on this upcoming Tuesday, July 22. The sessions are taking place at: Colonial Terrace, 119 Oregon Road, Cortlandt Manor, NY at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
The organizations signing the letter are listed below.
African American Men of Westchester
Boilermakers Local 5
Bronx Chamber of Commerce
Dr. Matthew Cordaro, former President and CEO, Midwest Independent System Operator
Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber of Commerce
Hudson Valley Hospital
National Federation of Independent Business (New York State)
New York Affordable Reliable Electricity Alliance (New York AREA)
New York Building Congress
Partnership for New York City
Putnam County Chambers of Commerce
Queens Chamber of Commerce
Robert Martin Company
Rockland Business Association
Teamsters Local 456
The Business Council of Westchester
Utility Workers Union of America, Local 1-2
Westchester Building and Construction Trades
Westchester County Association
Westchester/Putnam Central Labor Body AFL-CIO
The complete letter is available here.
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About New York AREA: Founded in November 2003, the New York Affordable Reliable Electricity Alliance (New York AREA) is a diverse group of more than 150 business, labor, and community groups whose mission and purpose is to ensure that the New York metropolitan area has an ample and reliable electricity supply, and economic prosperity for years to come. Entergy, the owner of Indian Point, is a member of New York AREA. New York AREA helps to educate policy makers, businesses, and the general public regarding the necessity and importance of safe, low-cost, reliable, clean electricity.
For additional information visit: www.area-alliance.org.
Below is the text of today’s letter to New York State DEC Commissioner Martens:
Dear Commissioner Martens:
We, the undersigned leaders of business and labor organizations throughout New York State are seriously concerned about the proposed DEC policy, as announced May 21, to require one or both units of the Indian Point nuclear power plant to close for 42 to 92 days each calendar year, in the May 10-August 10 time frame.
The DEC proposal would mean lost jobs, higher electricity prices, significantly lower electric reliability, and vast economic uncertainty. Indeed, the price increases will be in the billions of dollars.
A 2011 study by the renowned energy-consulting firm Charles River Associates for the New York City Department of Environmental Protection found that closing Indian Point permanently would mean $10-$12 billion in higher costs for New York state consumers through 2030. According to a 2012 study by the Business Council of Westchester, Indian Point accounts for 3,300 jobs in Westchester County alone. Many of these jobs would be lost if the plant only operates at 75 percent of capacity, the result of the forced outages proposal.
Closing Indian Point for several months a year, especially in the hottest months when electricity is needed most, sends the very negative message to companies considering re-locating to New York or expanding here that the state is hostile to business. This will make it harder for New York to generate jobs and attract out-of-state investments.
The proposal also creates more environmental problems that it solves. As a nuclear power plant, Indian Point has virtually zero carbon and other toxic emissions.
Closing Indian Point during the peak demand months in the summer will require greater use of fossil fuels whose pollution impact and related harm to human health are most serious in the summer. This will lead to more pollution and degraded air quality through higher toxic emissions of carbon dioxide, particulates, nitrous oxides, and sulfur dioxide.
It is also notable that the National Marine Fisheries Service has found that Indian Point’s operation during the 20-year license renewal period is not likely to jeopardize fish populations. Furthermore, the year-round, wedgewire screening that Indian Point’s owner Entergy has proposed would address the concerns about the loss of fish, fish eggs, and larvae more effectively than the forced outages proposal or cooling towers.
Wedgewire screens, already in use by other entities including a facility next to Indian Point, have a proven track record. As wedgewire screens can be promptly installed, this would allow Indian Point to continue to operate year round and provide Westchester County and New York City with 25 percent of their electricity.
Thank you for your attention to these matters.
Arthur “Jerry” Kremer Chairman, New York Affordable Reliable Electricity Alliance;
John Tuller, Member, Board of Directors, African American Men of Westchester;
Steve Ludwigson, Business Manager/Secretary Treasurer, Boilermakers Local 5;
Lenny Caro, President, Bronx Chamber of Commerce;
Dr. Matthew CordaroFormer President and CEO of the Midwest Independent System Operator;
Carl CannizzaroVice President of Ensign Engineering;
Deb MiloneExecutive Director, Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber of Commerce;
John Federspiel CEO, Hudson Valley Hospital;
Michael DurantNew York State Director,National Federation of Independent Business (New York State);
Richard T. Anderson, President of the New York Building Congress,
Kathryn WyldePresident and CEO of the Partnership for New York City;
Bill Nulk, President of the Putnam County Chambers of Commerce;
Jack Friedman, Executive Director, Queens Chamber of Commerce;
Tim Jones, Managing Partner, Robert Martin Company;
Al Samuels, President and CEO, Rockland Business Association;
Robert Roberge, President of the Teamsters Local 456;
Marsha Gordon, President and CEO of The Business Council of Westchester;
Jim Slevin President, Utility Workers Union of America, Local 1-2
Edward Doyle President, Westchester Building and Construction Trades;
Marissa Brett, President, Westchester County Association;
Paul Ryan, President of the Westchester/Putnam Central Labor Body AFL-CIO
Contact: Paul Steidler
917-612-3594 or 212-683-1203