New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has until the end of the month to decide whether to sign a controversial bill to subsidize nuclear power plants. A coalition of environmental, community, and business groups is urging him to conditionally veto it.
Environment New Jersey director Doug O’Malley says the bill on the governor’s desk is wrong headed.
“it’s going to commit $300 million a year for an unlimited time period to an aging nuclear fleet with a lack of true financial transparency. There’s nothing in this legislation that guarantees that subsidies will be restricted to just New Jersey facilities. These subsides could easily go to out-of-state facilities in Pennsylvania.”
Dennis Hart with the Chemistry Council says the subsidies could result in hundreds of thousands of dollars of increased electricity costs for manufacturing businesses already struggling to stay in the state. He says the legislation does not have guarantees to protect taxpayers.
“There’s no guarantees that PSE&G will open their books. There’s no public process to have the public’s representative look at their books. There’s no definition of cost. There’s no definition of expenses. There’s no definition of profit. There’s nothing but give PSE&G $300 million and they say if they don’t need it they won’t take it.”
Without the subsidies PSE&G says it might have to close its three nuclear plants in South Jersey.
New Jersey Sierra Club director Jeff Tittel is urging Murphy to make changes in the bill.
“To have more openness and transparency. To actually have them prove need before they go forward with the subsidy. That there’s provisions in case they are making extra money that there’s a clawback provision.”