O'Brien says upstaters shouldn't have to pay for Indian Point closing

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The powers that be want to close a nuclear plant that provides electricity to downstate, but upstate ratepayers shouldn't be on the hook for that decision, state Senator Ted O'Brien says.

Federal licenses for Indian Point Energy Center's two operating reactors expire soon: one at the end of September, the other in 2015. And some state officials, including Governor Andrew Cuomo, do not want them relicensed, which means they'd shut down. The plant is owned by Entergy, which wants the reactors to be relicensed.

O'Brien's objections deal with a contingency plan prepared by Consolidated Edison and the New York Power Authority, which buy electricity from the Indian Point plant. The plan, which the utility providers submitted to the state Public Service Commission, would require upstate ratepayers to cover $200 million of the costs associated with replacing Indian Point's generating capacity. O'Brien says that Indian Point provided power solely for downstate users.

"To me, that's unfair and inappropriate," O'Brien said during a press conference this morning.

He's written the Public Service Commission and expressed his opposition to the contingency plan. And he's not the only upstate legislator to object to the plan. Senator George Maziarz, the Republican who chairs the state Senate's energy committee, also opposes the contingency plan. And Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle has also written to the commission.

Con Ed and NYPA estimate the cost of replacing Indian Point at $811 million; the estimate includes several projects to improve the state's electricity transmission infrastructure.

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