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Legal battle against subsidy for nuclear industry along Lake Ontario

Opponents fight nuclear subsidy in court   http://blog.timesunion.com/capitol/archives/275743/opponents-fight-nuclear-subsidy-in-court/Note: This story by Rick Karlin originally appeared in Tuesday’s edition of the Times Union. 20 June 17 

Representatives of the state Public Service Commission were in court Monday defending their decision last August to award a multibillion dollar, 12-year subsidy to a group of upstate nuclear power plants along Lake Ontario. Opponents say it is a corporate giveaway, but state officials contend it will cut down on greenhouse gases.

The commission has “broad authority” to regulate power production in the state, said PSC lawyer John Graham, who was moving to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a coalition of activists who oppose the deal.

“This isn’t a small change. It’s a dramatic change,” said John Parker, a lawyer representing the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater ,which has opposed the deal with the New York Public Interest Research Group and other groups.

The arguments unfolded before acting Supreme Court Justice Roger McDonough in Albany. The plaintiffs maintain the PSC overstepped last August when it approved the subsidies for the Ginna, FitzPatrick and Nine Mile Point plants in Wayne and Oswego counties.

While the PSC views the subsidies as a way to control carbon emissions as the state moves toward more renewable energy sources, critics believe the Cuomo administration, which supported the plan, was intent on avoiding the job losses that would have come with plant closures in the hard-pressed region where the plants operate.

“You really have the executive branch extending its authority to this agency,” said David Barrett, a lawyer with the Coalition for Competitive Electricity.   To read the full version of this story, click here.

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June 21, 2017 - Posted by | Canada, Legal

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