Closure Agreement / Editorials

Update from the campaign against Cuomo’s $7.6 billion nuclear bailout from Mark Dunlea

I write to update you on the Stop The Cuomo Tax campaign to block Governor Cuomo’s proposed $7.6 billion ratepayer-funded bailout of old, failing upstate nuclear power plants and to let you know some easy ways to help.

More than 130 organizations and 36,000 New Yorkers are part of this growing movement, and there is a LOT going on, including the following:

Last week, the Albany Times Union wrote a strong editorial (A Surprise Tax on the Way) that’s well worth taking a minute to read and share. Here’s the image from the editorial:

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On Monday, the New York Daily News shined a spotlight on the Cuomo Administration’s move to transfer about $1.5 billion to nuclear energy corporations from a publicly-managed  trust fund intended to pay for the decommissioning of nuclear plants. (Anti-nuclear activists slam New York State move to transfer ‘decommissioning funds’ to energy companies)

Also on Monday, the Alliance for a Green Economy released a new white paper showing how the Cuomo Tax will not only cost residential ratepayers, businesses and charitable organizations; it will also wallop local government budgets across the state. The AGREE white paper is getting attention from the Buffalo News (Plan to bail out nuclear plants will cost cities millions), Journal News (Study: Yonkers, big cities will pay millions for nuke bailout), Politico (Advocacy group projects nuclear subsidies will cost cities millions), and the New York Daily News among other outlets.

And yesterday was also the state legislative budget hearing on the environment, where organizations and individuals working with the Stop the Cuomo Tax campaign will be well represented. The campaign advocated that state lawmakers draft provisions to overturn the nuclear subsidies as part of the budget resolutions.

We are also asking the for a public legislative oversight hearing specifically to investigate the Cuomo Administration’s misguided scheme to transfer $7.6 billion dollars from New Yorkers pockets to a Fortune 100 company based in Chicago instead of moving New York as quickly as possible to a safer, less-polluting clean energy future with affordable power and more good jobs. More to come soon on this.

The Governor’s success in negotiating a phased shut down of the Indian Point Nuclear power plants raised the question as to why should the state be investing so much money to keep other nuke plants open. “Others chided Cuomo for shuttering the plant while arranging for an estimated $7.6 billion in subsidies to keep four nuclear plants upstate open. ‘Governor Cuomo is absolutely right that the dangerous Indian Point nuclear plant poses a grave threat to New Yorkers and must be shut down,” said Alex Beauchamp, of Food and Water Watch. “Amazingly though, the governor is simultaneously pursuing a plan to waste billions in a corporate bailout to keep aging, unsafe, and unprofitable nuclear plants open upstate.” (article)

Clearwater has added more plaintiffs to its lawsuit in state court challenging the process the Governor and state followed in approving the bailout. Several dozen individuals who pay to purchase only renewable energy have joined, saying that they should not be forced to pay an additional surcharge to subsidize nuclear energy. This includes the Town of North Salem, one of many local governments in Westchester that opted for Community Choice Aggregation to enable residents to purchase 100% clean energy.

At the federal level, Public Citizen continues to spearhead opposition to NY’s nuke subsidy package (which is now being copied now in Illinois and New Jersey). In January, they asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to reconsider its approval of the Fitzpatrick sale. If FERC denies the request, that would allow Public Citizen to pursue review in a federal court. Public Citizen also plans to file a Federal Power Act Section 206 complaint, a separate challenge arguing Cuomo’s legislation violates FERC laws.

Like we said, a LOT going on in the growing movement to Stop the Cuomo Tax!

Here are three quick actions you can take right now to help us succeed:

  1. Write a Letter to the Editor in response to one or more of the articles linked above.

  2. Share more info on your personal and organizational social media channels. Please use this link:  (http://go.stopthecuomotax.org/page/speakout/send-a-letter?source=02092017-partners) and use the images attached to this email. Here are some easy ideas for share text:

  • Governor Cuomo wants to spend billions to bail out old nuclear power plants. New Yorkers deserve better. Send a message to your legislator today.

  • Governor Cuomo wants to spend billions to bail out old nuclear power plants. It’s up to us to stop him. Tell your representative you oppose Cuomo’s nuke bailout today.

  • Tell your legislator that we should be investing in energy efficiency and truly clean renewable alternatives like solar and wind, not Governor Cuomo’s nuclear bailout. Send a message today.

  • Governor Cuomo wants to spend billions to bail out old nuclear power plants. Send a message telling Governor Cuomo and your state representative that New Yorkers aren’t willing to foot the $7.6 billion bill for this disastrous deal.

  1. Call or write your own representatives in Albany, and tell them: “Stop the Cuomo Tax. No Nuclear Bailout.”

Thank you for all you do. Together we will win “Stop the Cuomo Tax” and move New York to a safer, less-polluting, more affordable energy future.

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