Indian Point ruling draws business criticism

A state ruling earlier this month that keeps alive the possibility that the Indian Point Energy Center nuclear power plant in Buchanan could be forced to stop producing electricity during part of the summer as a way to protect tiny fish and their eggs in the Hudson River is drawing criticism from a Hudson Valley business leader.

Deborah Milone, executive director of Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber of Commerce questions the decision in a letter to the editor of the Journal News:

As New Yorkers struggle with energy costs and utilities work to upgrade the electric system, an administrative judge at the New York Department of Environmental Conservation thinks the state should continue to spend more taxpayer money on an inherently bad idea: closing Indian Point every summer to supposedly save fish eggs. With policy proposals such as the forced shutdown plan from the DEC, it is little wonder that New York ranks as one of the worst business climates in the country and has the second highest electric rates.

The proposal from the DEC would significantly harm New York’s economy by causing a significant rise in electricity prices and endangering electric reliability when the power is needed most — in the summer. This is all while the power plant on the Hudson has already been proven by independent experts to have minimal impact on the marine environment of the river.

Forced outages will create great uncertainty, especially for energy-intensive businesses in such sectors as manufacturing, restaurants, grocery and hospitality. Because of our fragile transmission network and expensive electricity, many companies already hesitate to expand in New York or relocate here.

The DEC should stop wasting funds by exploring outrageous ideas, and consider common sense. Instead, policymakers should get to work on supporting affordable ideas that will support healthy marine life and clean air in ways that will also promote a healthy economy for the region’s businesses.