Assemblyman Kevin Byrne (R,C,I-Mahopac) joins local leaders, State Sen. Terrence Murphy and Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino in questioning the implications of the closing of Indian Point Nuclear Facility. The shocking agreement that Gov. Cuomo and Entergy made to close Indian Point was struck without transparency or public input.
Byrne doesn’t fault Entergy for this upsetting news. Byrne explained, “The truth is New York State continues to be ranked as one of the most unfriendly states toward businesses in the country (49/50). Indian Point has been under constant attack by this governor’s administration, and this is just another example of how New York State is pushing businesses away.”
“The governor worked to keep several upstate nuclear power plants open last year so I find it troubling he moved so quickly, and without consideration, to unilaterally shut down Indian Point. To make this decision without consulting our local elected leaders- to shut down the financially successful and essential Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant is shameful,” said Byrne. “What we need is open government and public involvement, not more and more secret deals.”
Lawmakers like Byrne are left asking many questions. What will happen to the thousand plus workers at this plant? How will this affect New York City and Westchester County utility rates? What will be done to replace the millions of dollars Entergy pays in taxes to Westchester County? What is the governor’s actual plan to replace Indian Point’s 2,000 + Megawatts of affordable, carbon-free energy? And why wasn’t this mentioned during the governor’s regional State of the State Address in SUNY Purchase- a location that is less than thirty minutes away from the plant?
Twenty-five percent of the energy used by Westchester County and New York City is generated by nuclear power from Indian Point. Westchester and New York City account for roughly 9.2 million energy consumers whose rates will be affected by the Indian Point closure. Local officials are concerned about skyrocketing energy costs and the feasibility of previously-proposed green energy alternatives. New York State currently holds the top spot for some of the highest energy costs in the continental U.S.