NJ Lawmakers Hold Hearing On Nuclear Plants Future

Dec 4, 2017

Ralph Izzo testifies at legislative hearing

New Jersey lawmakers are examining whether to act in the final weeks of the legislative session to provide some financial help for nuclear power plants in Salem County.

Public Service Enterprise Group CEO Ralph Izzo says low natural gas prices have hurt the profitability of the Hope Creek and Salem nuclear power plants and he might shut them down in two years.

“We believe it is cheaper to keep nuclear power than to watch it close. We are not asking for a bailout. We’re asking you to join us in correction of these market flaws.”

Steven Goldenberg with the New Jersey Large Energy Users Coalition says the state should not be correcting market issues.

“As we understand it PSE&G stands poised to receive upwards of 3 to 4 billion dollars that is to their sole benefit, collected essentially as a tax not payable to the state for any state purpose but to a single successful company to the detriment of literally everybody else.”   

Stefanie Brand is the director of the state agency that represents ratepayers. She says the company should be required to open its financial books for scrutiny before any subsidy is approved.     

“To rush this through in lame duck and not take the time to really pay attention puts ratepayers at risk.”

Senate Environment Committee chairman Bob Smith says there’s no bill yet to give the company subsidies, but legislation could be crafted and advanced before the lame duck session ends in January.

“I think the real question comes down to do you believe Public Service that this is an eminent issue. And if it is an eminent or emergent issue, then maybe you should be acting faster than not.”