Senator Kip Bateman, a member of the Senate Environment & Energy Committee, issued the following statement regarding his committee vote in support of legislation (S-3560) to improve the financial viability of New Jersey’s nuclear power plants:
Sen. Kip Bateman issued a statement of support for legislation to improve the financial viability of New Jersey’s nuclear power plants. (Flickr)
“I have serious concerns about the process of introducing and passing this legislation in a condensed timeframe during lame duck. It’s something that deserves a more careful review.
“However, given the information and limited time I’ve had to review the legislation prior to our committee hearing and vote today, I believe that supporting it is the right thing to do to protect New Jersey’s environment.
“I’m concerned with how New Jersey would compensate for the loss of our nuclear power plants, which supply nearly half of our state’s electricity and around 90 percent of our clean energy. They do so relatively inexpensively.
“We’ve recently closed air-polluting coal plants and are fighting the installation of new natural gas pipelines, like PennEast, that would cross through environmentally sensitive areas. Do we want more of those?
“Other environmentally friendly options like wind and solar have nowhere near the capacity or reliability to cover the loss of nuclear power generation in New Jersey at this time.
“Unless we are ready to build new gas-fired power plants, which would require more pipelines through our communities from natural gas producing states like Pennsylvania, or want to reopen dirty coal plants, improving the financial viability of our nuclear generators seems to be the best of a series of bad options.
“I support the checks and balances in the legislation that will allow the BPU to review PSEG’s financials. This will help us to minimize the impact on ratepayers and ensure that the nuclear plants are only getting what they need to stay in the black.”
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