The Clean Energy Standard (CES) positions New York as a national leader in the fight to lower carbon emissions, reduce other harmful pollutants, maintain fuel diversity and balance our state’s economic, energy and environmental priorities.
The New York PSC carefully and thoughtfully crafted the CES for over a year. The process included over 20 public hearing sessions and several technical conferences with significant public dialogue entered into the proceeding record.
The CES goal of 50% renewable energy by 2030 is aggressive. New York will need to add 25% more renewable generation to meet the 2030 goal or about 5 times more renewable resources than what was installed in the last 10 years. The bridge to 2030 can either be powered by zero emissions resources like nuclear energy or by more fossil fuels with their associated higher costs and higher air emissions.
Therefore, it is unfortunate that some anti-nuclear groups and fossil fuel interests continue to try to mislead New Yorkers about the plan, specifically the critical role of upstate’s nuclear plants in achieving the goals of the CES. But the facts are clear and overwhelming – our upstate nuclear plants are critical for a number of reasons:
- Without the upstate nuclear fleet, New York energy consumers from across the state would pay almost $1.7 billion more annually – or $15 billion over the next decade – in electricity costs. According to Richard Kauffman, Chairman of Energy & Finance for New York, the benefits of the CES are worth $5 billion over the first two years of the program.
- Nuclear generation provides up to 25,000 direct and indirect New York jobs, $3 billion to the economy each year and $144 million in state and local taxes annually. Prematurely shutting down the plants would devastate the upstate economy.
- They provide 31% of all energy consumed in New York State. If they do not run, a higher priced emitting unit will replace them.
- They avoid 16 million tons of carbon emissions annually and over 180 million tons of carbon emissions over the 12 year bridge to more renewables. New York has already experienced the wrath of climate change with Hurricanes Irene, Lee and Sandy, which amounted to $32 billion in damages in New York State.
- They avoid 13,000 tons of nitrogen oxide annually, improving the air quality for our known non-attainment areas in southeastern New York, New York City and Long Island. Climate change and poor air quality have a disproportionate impact on low-income people, women and workers.
New York State is a trusted leader in many areas, and environmental and energy policy are two areas we pride ourselves on. Anything but the CES is a dramatic step back on our progress made to date.
We need your help to tell your legislators to fully support the CES and allow this important, forward looking energy policy to continue. Now is the time to move aggressively toward New York's clean energy future. Every New Yorker deserves clean air!