The announcement by Governor Cuomo of the planned closure of the Indian Point nuclear power plants is a severe blow to the economic future of the Hudson Valley and indeed the state, say many business experts including Business Council of Westchester President/CEO Marsha Gordon. In a letter to her members, Ms. Gordon notes that “…the power generated at Indian Point has played a direct role in stabilizing electricity costs in Westchester and the State of New York. We have repeatedly called for the plants to be relicensed, a process that has been unnecessarily dragged out for 15 years and counting.”
She also drew attention to the uncertainty surrounding the closure, something that is never a good thing for business. Ms. Gordon stated, “We wait to learn how [Cuomo] intends to deal with the prospect of increased electric rates, the reliability of electric supply for Westchester, the Hudson Valley region and New York City and the myriad of environmental and other issues the shutdown inevitably will bring.”
Entergy has been a good community citizen and an active participant in bolstering the economy of the lower Hudson Valley. There is also the issue of what happens to the 1000 jobs at the plant, and the loss of tax revenue both to the surrounding community and the school district. This is going to create quite a mess, and the question to be asked is, “why???”
As Ms. Gordon puts it, “We recognize that for some members of the community and a number of elected officials, the announcement is good news. Unfortunately, the shutdown poses an entirely new set of questions with no certain answers…” That assessment, sadly, is something every resident of the Hudson Valley and beyond should be concerned about. Energy availability and reliability is a vital part of any future economic growth for our state.
-Jennifer Maher, Chairwoman, the Putnam County Chamber of Commerce, “A business advocacy group”