Barclay: ‘Closure of Indian Point Not Justified’

Assembly Committees hear testimony on renewing license for Indian Point Energy Center
January 17, 2012

Assemblyman Will Barclay (R,C,I—Pulaski) today said New York State should renew Indian Point Energy Center’s license so it may continue operating its nuclear energy plant in Westchester County to supply affordable energy to New York City.

Barclay serves on the Assembly Committee on Energy. The Assembly Committee on Energy, along with the Assembly Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions, held a hearing last week, o consider the license renewal of Indian Point. The plant is applying to renew its license; however, Gov. Cuomo has said he wants to shut the plant down, citing its age and proximity to New York City.

Barclay does not support Indian Point’s closure.

“The closure of Indian Point is not justified. It is a safe, reliable source of energy for much of downstate New York and New York City. It provides 2,000 megawatts of electricity, more than 1,000 jobs and pays more than $75 million in taxes. If it demonstrated any inadequacies or failed routine safety inspections, I could see why the state should not renew its license, but New York and federal regulators have strict safety guidelines in place for nuclear plants, which help keep us all safe,” said Barclay.

Barclay said if the state does not renew Indian Point’s license, it could set precedence for the state not to renew other nuclear plants’ licenses, which could jeopardize energy-generating facilities in Oswego County. Closing Indian Point also would create more emissions for downstate and send electricity costs through the roof.

“Here we have a large employer that provides high-paying jobs and we’re talking about closing it down. If this was warranted, I could see the need, but it isn’t. We need to protect the jobs that already are in our state, especially the ones that spur much of the economy in a given region,” said Barclay. “Closing the facility would take power off the grid and we don’t need that either. We need more power on the grid so energy becomes more affordable. There is also the important question of where the power would come from if it didn’t come from Indian Point. Currently, the plant supplies about 30% of New York City’s electricity in a typical day. To take that power source off the grid, without a comparable replacement, is unfair to the residents and business owners in the region who rely on Indian Point. They’d be faced with major blackouts or skyrocketing energy prices or both,” said Barclay.

Barclay heard testimony from energy experts, environmentalists and other lawmakers last week at the hearing in New York City. He advocated that Indian Point remain open.