Trenton (April 23, 2021) — After securing a $300 million-per-year subsidy despite failing to demonstrate need, PSE&G and Exelon are back again, using the threat of closures and job losses to demand yet another round of corporate handouts paid for by New Jersey ratepayers.
The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) held evidentiary hearings on the renewal of the $300 million annual zero-emission credit (ZEC) subsidies this year. On April 27, the BPU is expected to rule on the renewal for a three-year period, which would total upwards of $900 million in higher electricity costs for ratepayers.
“The focus on relief coming out of this pandemic should be centered on helping those who need it most,” said Renee Koubiadis, executive director, Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey. “Many people are afraid of being evicted from their homes because they have lost jobs and haven’t been able to afford rent and utilities. Instead of giving a huge giveaway to profitable nuclear power companies, we should be helping people afford to stay in their homes.”
NJ Ratepayers United (NJRU), a diverse coalition of New Jersey consumers, business groups, consumer advocates, grassroots organizations and energy providers, joined forces to stop these powerful nuclear energy companies from looking at ratepayers as ATMs they can withdraw money from at their leisure.
Since launching in November, the coalition has seen its numbers grow to include the Anti-Poverty Network of NJ, AARP NJ, NJ Citizen Action, New Jersey Attractions Association, Main Street Alliance, Building Owners and Managers Association of NJ and more. See below for a complete list.
“After a devastating year for small businesses, this is not the time to increase energy costs,” said Tony Sandkamp, chair of Main Street Alliance – New Jersey and owner of Sandkamp Woodworks in Jersey City. “Many small businesses cannot afford these extra costs that do nothing but increase the profits of nuclear power companies and pad the pockets of highly paid executives.”
PSE&G and Exelon continue to hold communities, workers, regulators and elected officials hostage by demanding a $300 million-per-year nuclear bailout, even as New Jersey residents and businesses experience financial and other hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The $300 million annual ZEC subsidy for New Jersey nuclear plant operators adds over a 3% increase in our member’s electricity rates and further hinders the vitality of the commercial office building industry in an energy environment whereby our state’s conversion to renewable electricity already poses signification rate boosts.” said Patricia Hanley, Building Owners and Managers Association – New Jersey, Association Executive. “Instead of forcing New Jersey ratepayers to continue absorbing generator costs in their deregulated electricity marketplace, we encourage the state to leverage its influence on plant operators to figure out how to remain competitive in their markets.”
While these two conglomerates continue to push for more ZEC subsidies, they are also quietly pushing a proposal that would drastically overhaul how New Jersey acquires and distributes electricity. The proposal, called the Fixed Resource Requirement (FRR), would enable the companies to impose a monopoly that would transform the state’s electricity capacity market to obtain greater profits. A well-functioning, competitive market would be replaced with what essentially amounts to an electricity monopoly.
NJ Ratepayers United Coalition
AARP New Jersey
Americans for Prosperity – New Jersey
Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey
Building Owners and Managers Association of NJ
Chemistry Council of New Jersey
Electric Power Supply Association
ENGIE North America
Main Street Alliance
New Jersey Attractions Association
New Jersey Citizen Action
New Jersey Large Energy Users Coalition