The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

New Jersey’s Nuclear Subsidy Bill heads for uneasy passage in Houses


Clean-energy measures also voted out, but nuclear bill looms large — particularly when it comes to costs to ratepayers.

After months of contentious debate and false starts, a package of bills increasing the state’s reliance on renewable energy, as well as subsidizing nuclear power plants, won approval yesterday from a pair of legislative committees.

The passage sets the stage for final approval by both houses on Thursday to legislation that likely will impose billions of dollars in new costs on utility customers to support those programs.

If signed into law by Gov. Phil Murphy as expected, the measures will begin implementing key parts of the new administration’s clean-energy agenda, while averting the threatened closing of nuclear power plants, operated by Public Service Enterprise Group.

……..The mounting public demand to address climate change and the difficult choices facing an unregulated energy sector have thrust those decisions before a Legislature largely oblivious of the implications of its actions, according to some. A key provision of the deal calls for subsidizing PSEG’s three nuclear power plants for as long as 10 years at a cost of $300 million annually.

“The proposed nuclear bailout will make it difficult to ramp up a clean-energy future,’’ argued Doug O’Malley, director of Environment New Jersey, who backed a clean-energy bill.

The nuclear bill (S-2313) has proven very controversial due to its cost. Critics, including many business groups, consumer advocates, and environmentalists, argue the company has never demonstrated the plants are in financial jeopardy.

No room for rate counsel

Under the bill, the plants would only be awarded the subsidies in certain circumstances. The state Board of Public Utilities would have to initiate a proceeding and find the plants are in financial distress. But the bill may leave the state’s Division of Rate Counsel, the agency representing consumers, out of the review process.

Rate Counsel director Stefanie Brand said the subsidies could end up costing consumers more than $3 billion over a decade, even though the company has not proved they are losing money. “They are making money, but not as much as the company wants,’’ Brand told the Senate Budget Committee.

……. “It is abundantly clear by now that ratepayers cannot afford a multibillion dollar tax hike, paid to bail out demonstrably profitable nuclear plants, just so PSEG shareholders can make some money,’’ said Matt Fossen, of the New Jersey Coalition for Fair Energy…….


April 6, 2018 - Posted by | politics, USA

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: