PSEG Ploy to Pass Nuclear Bill: Cuts Funding for Salem Plants


PSEG Ploy to Pass Nuclear Bill: Cuts Funding for Salem Plants

Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) and the minority shareholder of its Salem nuclear plant will stop funding capital projects. The filing includes language stating that the two companies will continue to fund improvements mandated by regulations but will refrain from other improvement projects unless the bill is passed. The bill, S877 (Sweeney), would establish the Nuclear Diversity Certificate program. This is identical to the bill that failed to get through during last session. The bill supports Chris Christie’s original negotiations to give PSEG subsidies for their nuclear plants in New Jersey. Under this bill, PSEG could start receiving subsidies within a year, despite being profitable enough to have bid into auction. It also includes subsidies to fix up their plants. The bill goes minimally through 2030 but can be extended. The bill has been worked on behind-the-scenes with little opportunity for public examination and input.  Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club, released the following statement:

“This is a shameful ploy by PSEG to get the NJ Legislature to pass the nuclear subsidy bill. They are trying to bully the Legislature into writing them a blank check, despite their plants being profitable on their own. PSEG is pretending they need the subsidies to keep afloat. In reality, their nuclear plants aren’t in any jeopardy and don’t need any financial assistance for at least a couple years.  These subsidies would block renewable energy efforts in New Jersey and cost the ratepayers. This bill is the biggest subsidy and rip-off in the history of New Jersey. Phil Murphy has committed to a goal of 100% renewable energy by 2050 and this bill undermines that goal. This is nothing but an excuse to push the bill through. PSEG is acting like a spoiled child who threatens to take their toys and go home if they don’t get what they want.

“They’re putting this information out to bully their way into getting this massive subsidy that so many people oppose. All this is about is taking care of stockholders and bondholders. There’s also no language in the bill that prevents them from selling the plants after they get the subsidies. There’s also nothing in the bill to protect workers. Even if PSEG gets the subsidy, they can still lay off workers to increase revenue. There isn’t even language that includes a closure plan with a just transition for the workers. There’s also no language for replacing the plants when they close with renewables. This means that when the plants close, they can be replaced with natural gas. This bill is bad for the environment, the ratepayers, and the workers. This is all about helping PSEG’s bottom line.”

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