Local residents need to keep an eye on the aftermath of the recent explosion at the Indian Point nuclear plant near Poughkeepsie, NY. No, there was no meltdown. Systems properly shut down when the explosion occurred. However, there was an oil spill. . . . You can be sure that there will be more calls for the plant to be shut down, even though it supplies 25% of the power for New York City and Westchester County. People have been calling for shutdown of this plant for years.
In addition, coal fired plants in the Downstate region are in the process of being shut down. Protection of the environment is cited as the reason.
While to some Indian Point and the closure of coal plants may be a Downstate problem, and to others it may be an Environmental problem, for us locally it represents an Economic Problem. Because from where will the power to replace that of the shut down plants come from?
Indian Point needs to be kept open. If it is closed...which is Cuomo's goal...history will repeat itself. Cuomo's father shut down the Shoreham LI nuke plant due to popular pressure ...and Upstaters -- inspite of having an abundance of cheap hydro power -- now pay some of the highest electrical rates in the nation because our power was sent Downstate. The high rates contributed to Upstate's loss of jobs. Solar and wind have not proven economical compared to fossil fuels...
Sure a meltdown is a scary possibility, and coal-fired plants may be obnoxious. But we Upstaters are living in almost a third world economic reality now to keep the City and environs lit.
If we have to give up more to help Downstate, what would we get in return?
For past Fault Lines commentary concerning Indian Point check out these posts.
2006: Environmental Justice
2008: NYRI/Marcy-South; Indian Point Progress ; Not Fighting NYRI on All Fronts
2011: Cuomo, Jr.'s Shoreham