New Clean Energy Standards Could Save 3 CNY Power Plants

OSWEGO, N.Y. -- All across the Oswego community, the impacts of nearby nuclear power plants are felt.

Its employees are residents, shoppers, and customers. A plant closure would ripple through the community.

"The 600 employees that are out there are some of our best customers, so it will affect us personally, me and my employees directly," local restaurant owner Nick Canale said.

Besides owning a restaurant in Oswego, Canale is part of the Upstate Energy Jobs Coalition. Monday the group sent a petition to Gov. Andrew Cuomo supporting the inclusion of nuclear power in the state's proposed Clean Energy Standards. It had more than 3,500 signatures.

The proposal requires the state to use renewable energy to produce half of its electric power by 2030, and includes subsidies for nuclear power plants.

"We cannot achieve the state's goals by 2030 without nuclear power, and the reality is we'll actually go backwards from where we are today without nuclear power," Sen. Patty Ritchie said.

Ritchie said the standards are necessary to strengthen the electric grid and support local jobs. In Oswego, CES and its subsidies could push through a sale of Fitzpatrick, a plant currently on track to close.

"That's the only thing that's out there that would make these plants profitable and make it possible for somebody else to buy the plant," Canale said.

That move that could keep local jobs and all that they provide.

"Everything I hear is positive, but you never know until things happen," Canale said. 

These proposed standards are not without opposition. Some are calling it a "nuclear bailout" and say the subsidies are much more expensive than initially thought. 

The state's Public Service Commission is set to consider the proposed energy standards at an August 1st meeting.

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