Rational, Balanced Energy Policy Needed in Upstate New York to Protect Families and Small Businesses

A new study issued by the Brattle Group sheds some light on the New York Public Service Commission’s (PSC) Clean Energy Standard and suggests that not all policy approaches under consideration to replace the output of Upstate New York nuclear plants would fully protect families and small business from unintended price increases.

While Consumer Energy Alliance strongly support an “all of the above approach” to meeting our energy needs – including the continued expanded use of wind, solar and nuclear energy – the Brattle study found that the rapid replacement of output from these nuclear plants with a 100 percent renewable energy standard would cost consumers – at a minimum – $12 billion more than the “Zero-Emission Credit” plan approved by the commission. In August 2016, the New York PSC passed a clean energy standard that would require the state to generate half of its electricity from zero-carbon emitting resources.

“The findings of this study underscores Consumer Energy Alliance’s (CEA) position that we need a rational, balanced energy policy that includes every resource we have. Maintaining and building new zero-emissions nuclear power plants, while we continue to expand our oil and natural gas portfolio, increase our use of renewables and strive for even more conservation and efficiency, represent prudent, consumer-friendly approaches to meeting our future increases in energy demand – especially as our economy begins to grow again,” said CEA Vice President of State Affairs Brydon Ross. “If it were even physically possible to replace our entire current electricity portfolio with renewables, the cost to do so would be enormous and have major implications on grid reliability. It would also likely harm the prospects for increasing renewables over the long term. Renewables expansion must be done in a thoughtful and realistic fashion. Nuclear power provides 63 percent of the carbon-free power across the country. Environmentalists, conservationists, and activists alike should support this resource rather than prematurely forcing policies that will unnecessarily increase cost for families.”

To read the study, please click here.