Local Officials, Community Members Thrilled That Exelon Will Takeover FitzPatrick Plant
OSWEGO, N.Y. -- Across Central New York many local officials and community members are still smiling after the announcement that Exelon will takeover the FitzPatrick nuclear plant.
"It was kind of like winning the National Title in football or some sporting event like that. Everybody was just up in the air, jumping and yelling and clapping and so enthusiastic about the outcome," said Michael Treadwell, the CEO of the Oswego County Industrial Development Agency.
"What a great thing. What a monumental thing to be involved in, you know what I mean," said Mike Bradshaw, the Chief Steward of the Nine Mile Point IBEW Local 97 union. "Like the governor spoke of, this is groundbreaking and this is New York leads the way and I can see a lot of energy, a lot of happiness, and a lot of relief with folks. We couldn't be happier."
Some say the takeover is a win for the local economy, since the plant will continue to bring in hundreds of millions of dollars each year to the area. Along with the revenue, more than 600 people will continue to work.
"You won't see houses going up for sale of people who are going to have to vacate their homes and move away. We'll keep the 615 jobs right here in the community," said Oswego Mayor William Barlow.
Local officials also say it's a win for the environment, since the plant has played a big role in providing clean energy in the state.
"FitzPatrick now generates about 10 percent of the carbon-free electricity that's generated in the state of New York now, so that's going to continue," said Treadwell.
While Exelon won't takeover FitzPatrick officially for some time, people are confident the transition will go smoothly, since the company already owns two plants in the county.
Officials also say the Mexico School District will be helped by the news, since the plant is a major revenue source. The schools will be able to continue certain programs with FitzPatrick's support.
Not everyone was pleased by Tuesday's announcement.
The Alliance for a Green Economy has consistently called the new subsidies that allowed the sale a "nuclear bailout."
That group cites numerous problems at FitzPatrick including a recent oil spill that happened earlier this summer. It also opposes the state letting go of a $700 million decomissioning fund as part of the deal.
The alliance says the deal will cost New Yorkers more in the longrun.