Last Tuesday, the Senate Energy & Telecommunications Committee and the Assembly Energy Committee held a joint public hearing on the potential impacts of the shutdown of the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant.   Lawmakers raised concerns about the security of the site, job losses, the decommissioning of the power plant, the loss of tax revenue to local governments, and the replacement of the 2,000 megawatts of power Indian Point generates.

Richard Kauffman, the Governor’s top energy advisor, said that the facility’s planned 2021 closure gives the state and local stakeholders “ample time” to address replacement power and economic challenges.

We wish that we could be so optimistic. With Indian Point closing, the Nuclear Energy Institute has projected that the result could be an increase in electric bills of up to $112 a month. In a state that already has some of the nation’s highest energy costs, an increase of this magnitude would be devastating. We need to make sure that new electric generating capacity is going on-line, especially natural gas-powered facilities. Natural gas is clean, abundant and affordable. And it is critical to our energy future.