Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Subsidies for NJ nukes issue raised at budget hearing

BPU president Mroz favors regional approach to problem, rather than a state-by-state solution

Tom Johnson reports for NJ Spotlight:

sponsor nuclear
The chairman of the Senate Budget Committee expressed misgivings yesterday about handing out subsidies to help struggling nuclear power plants, an issue that has been quietly percolating in the State House for months.
In a routine budget hearing, Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-Bergen) raised the topic in questioning New Jersey Board of Public Utilities president Richard Mroz, while noting that a steep drop in natural-gas prices is affecting the viability of coal and nuclear power plants.
The state ought to be concerned about the nuclear plants, Sarlo said, noting they account for 97 percent of the pollution-free electricity generated in New Jersey. New York and Illinois have awarded subsidies to aid fiscally strapped nuclear units there.
“Some states are knocking on the door of the treasurer’s office. Have you had any discussion with the treasury about subsidies for the nuclear industry, which is problematic, I believe?’’ Sarlo asked.
Mroz acknowledged he has discussed the issue with the industry, but denied awareness of any proposal to give out subsidies to nuclear plants.

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