Nuclear plant bailout is raw deal for taxpayers

Published Mar 18, 2017 at 4:00pm

Gov. Andrew Cuomo loves to talk about how he wants to end New York’s long reign as one of the most-heavily taxed states in the nation. Just last month he blocked a 5-cent tax on plastic bags in New York City. So why is he putting a huge new tax on New Yorker’s electric bills?

The $7.6 billion it will cost to bail out three unprofitable upstate nuclear plants isn’t just going to hurt individual’s wallets – it’s going to lead to millions of dollars in higher costs for schools, hospitals and public infrastructure authorities, according to environmental experts who testified this week at a hearing in the state Assembly. And the money for those new expenditures are going to have to come from somewhere. The most likely source – everyday New Yorkers, who will be hit with a double whammy.

This backroom deal was negotiated by Cuomo and Exelon, the operator of the nuclear plants, without any oversight from the state Legislature, and even though the Assembly is now holding hearings to get to the bottom of this, Cuomo’s agency heads from the Public Service Commission and NYSERDA still aren’t willing to show up and testify. Maybe it’s because they know how much of a raw deal this bailout is for New Yorkers already-sky high electric bills.

— Ethan Thompson,

109 E. Ostrander Ave.