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OpinionLetters

Letter: Upstate nuke plants help downstate, too

The National Grid Power station in Northport on

The National Grid Power station in Northport on December 12, 2012. Photo Credit: newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

The notion that downstate utility customers do not adequately benefit from the state’s new clean energy standard and the nuclear energy plants that the standard supports is simply incorrect [“Subsidy plan criticized,” News, Sept. 8]. In fact, nuclear energy plants provide benefits to New Yorkers across the state. New York’s nuclear facilities replace more than 21.4 million metric tons of carbon emissions, which is equal to the amount that would be released by 4.8 million passenger cars a year.

Moreover, a long-standing power purchase agreement between the Long Island Power Authority and the Fitzpatrick power plant will continue to provide a lifeline that buttresses downstate customers from power supply issues and price spikes. Having nuclear power in the energy mix also allows the state’s grid to be more reliable by supplying electricity from a diverse portfolio.

On average, a nuclear reactor employs 400 to 700 skilled workers, has a payroll of $40 million and contributes $470 million to the local economy. These benefits have ripple effects and contribute to a healthier New York economy.

The clean energy standard is a fair and important measure that benefits all New Yorkers and helps achieve the state’s energy goals.

Judd Gregg, Washington

Editor’s note: The writer, a former U.S. senator from New Hampshire, chairs Nuclear Matters, an advocacy organization.

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