"The board had to decide whether or not it would give zero emissions credits to PSE&G, which insists it will have to shutter the [nuclear] plants without help. Critics have argued that the company does not need the subsidies to keep the plants afloat, and should take the financial hit rather than pass it on to customers.
The nuclear plants produce 90% of the state’s carbon-free energy and around 40% of the state’s total energy. Wind and solar, other clean energy options, are costly and slow to develop. Without nuclear energy, New Jersey may be forced to turn back to energy sources that produce carbon emissions.
“Were these plants to close, we would lose the single largest sources of the state’s clean energy supply, and be forced to make up that supply with sources such as fossil fuels,” said Joseph Fiordaliso, the president of the board."
Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey Sierra Club, blasted the decision. The state’s Energy Master Plan counts on keeping the nuclear plants in play until 2050, far longer their usual lifespan. In that time, New Jersey energy customers could pay as much as $10 billion if the subsidies continue, Tittel estimates.
“This money should be going into revamping solar and offshore wind to create clean, renewable energy and create new green jobs,” Tittel said in a statement.
“This unnecessary nuclear subsidy undermines our progress with renewable energy. More importantly, it will block us from reaching Governor Murphy’s 100% renewable energy goal by 2050. We will never be able to diversify our energy portfolio if we have to subsidize nuclear energy forever.”
Someone call a waaahmbulance...