Sweeney, Burzichelli and Taliaferro Praise BPU’s Approval of Plan to Support Nuclear Energy
Trenton – Senate President Steve Sweeney, Deputy Assembly Speaker John Burzichelli and Assemblyman Adam Taliaferro (all D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland) issued the following joint statement today praising the state Board of Public Utilities’ approval of the plan to support New Jersey’s nuclear power industry as a critical part of the state’s diversified energy supply:
“The BPU made the right decision and it was a decision based on the facts, the realities of New Jersey’s energy needs, and what is best for the economy, the environment and consumers.
“Depressed wholesale energy prices around the country are driving productive nuclear power plants out of business and, without this action, New Jersey would be next. That would result in higher energy bills, increased air pollution, lost jobs and a less reliable supply of energy.
“There is a cost to this plan, but the cost of ignoring the threat and allowing our nuclear plants to close is far worse. If these plants shut down, nearly 6,000 jobs could be lost, consumers will pay more in utility bills, and the increased use of carbon-based energy will do harm to the environment. And once they close, they can’t be reopened.
“Nuclear power is a clean resource that provides reliability and diversity to the state’s supply of energy. The state’s residents and businesses rely on nuclear power for approximately 40 percent of their electricity needs.
“We already provide more than $450 million in subsidies to solar power because it is important to our clean energy portfolio. We also must continue to develop the offshore wind industry. But expanding solar energy and creating a new offshore wind industry does not mitigate the need for nuclear power.
“This plan provides zero-emission credits to preserve the benefits of nuclear energy for all New Jersey customers – and will do it in a way that will cost less than allowing our nuclear plants to close.”