Energy advocates urging review of Gov. Cuomo’s clean energy standard

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Energy advocates are urging lawmakers to take a second look at the governor’s clean energy standard.

The standard approved last August by the Public Service Commission requires 50 percent of the state’s energy to come from renewable energy by 2030.

Part of the plan involves keeping three upstate nuclear power plants open, a decision groups argue was not transparent.

“You’ll receive a lot of information today, at this hearing,” Blair Horner, executive director New York Public Interest Research Group, said.

Horner told an Assembly committee he’s not here to explain why he disagrees.

With the state’s plan to keep three upstate nuclear power plants, Fitzpatrick, Nine Mile and Ginna Operational, it’s how the state came to the decision, that’s brought him here.

“It came out in the summer, it came out with little fanfare, there was no button to be pushed to reset the process so that there could be new information brought in on that decision.”

Horner supports a bill sponsored by Assemblyman Fred Thiele that would delay the plans in motion to keep the plants open and give time for lawmakers to look at other plans to meet clean energy standards besides keeping the plants open.

“We see this as a tax,” Horner said.

The Public Service Commission was invited to this hearing to explain their position but say they weren’t notified until late last week and couldn’t get around scheduling conflicts.

The commission did submit 14 pages of written testimony. They note more than 24 public hearings were held and reviewed over 14,000 written comments.

They also note keeping the plant open costs you less than $2 on your bill, closing them would cost you more than $7 a month.

“I do not agree with Blair or any of my colleagues in the Assembly that we can stall this program,” Assemblyman Will Barclay said.

All three plants sit in Barclay’s district and he says if the state were to go back on their decision and close the plants it would be dangerous to the area.

“I think ultimately if then we did get rid of this program the ratepayers are going to pay a lot more, we’re going to have all the environmental problems with this.”

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