Westfield Leader and Scotch Plains–Fanwood Times

Group Opposes State Nuclear Tax Legislation

The Westfield Leader and The Scotch Plains–Fanwood Times — January 11, 2018

Peyton's Peek at the Week In Politics
By Paul Peyton of The Leader/Times

In response to a push by PSE&G promoting the Saving of New Jersey's nuclear powerplants, a group made up of representatives of consumer, business, and environmental organizations strongly opposed S-3560/A-5330.

Under the bill, the state's Board of Public Utilities (BPU) would establish a Nuclear Diversity Certificate (NDC) program. Power plants would have to be licensed to operate by the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission through 2030 or later. Also, operators would have to provide financial information demonstrating that the plant would cease operations. The legislation, however, stalled and was not put up for a vote before the end of the legislative session on Monday.

The group opposing the legislation includes the New Jersey Clean Energy, Environmental Defense Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council, AARP New Jersey, NJ Citizen Action, and Environment New Jersey.

"The nuclear tax legislation threatens to place a $300 million/year burden on all New Jersey electricity users to subsidize PSE&G's aging nuclear power plants, regardless of whether or not PSE&G is their electricity supplier," according to a press release put out by the group.

They say there are "innumerable flaws with the bill including its requirement that taxpayers pay subsidies to profitable energy corporations."

According to a Gannett report on northjersey.com, Public Service Enterprise Group representatives have told state lawmakers that without a state subsidy, nuclear power will be unprofitable within two years and could lead to the closing PSEG's Hope Creek and Salem nuclear powerplants in Salem County, accounting for "40 percent of the power consumed by New Jersey homes and businesses."

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