In a recent op-ed for The New York Post, Jonathan Lesser and Robert Bryce issue a stern warning to Gov. Cuomo regarding the Indian Point Energy Center. These experts on the interplay between energy and economics thoughtfully arrived at the same conclusion as did the panel of experts at WCA’s June 14 Energy Forum. Specifically: Indian Point cannot be shut down without a replacement supply of reliable and low-cost energy…
…Unfortunately, to stay open, Indian Point now requires a water-quality permit from New York State as well as an extension of its license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. So, the Governor may finally have the leverage he needs to close the facility. But this would come at an incredibly high cost to business and consumers.
Lesser and Bryce estimate that a closure would result in a $1000 annual upcharge for the average small business in New York. And larger companies, like the MTA, would have to pay an additional one to two million dollars per year for electricity.
But what about the intangible costs of a closure?
Efforts to attract and retain business in a region already saddled with high energy costs and a less-than-favorable business climate will only be hampered if electricity becomes unavailable and/or cost prohibitive. Keep in mind that tomorrow’s Google or Facebook needs power, and lots of it. If technology-driven companies can’t get the energy they need at competitive prices in the Empire State, they just won’t locate here.
Back in June, Jerry Kremer, chairman, NY AREA, a panelist at the Forum, said it best -- “Ten years from now, the business community has got to ask: When I go to flick the switch, will the lights go on? What will be the cost of that power? What kind of power will I get?”
Our BLUEPRINT for Westchester initiative is taking a hard look at New York’s energy infrastructure as one critical step the effort to help businesses here survive and thrive. All WCA members are encouraged to join the discussion of how progressive thinking can improve New York's economy and energy environment.