Indian Point Closure Strikes Another Blow to New York

To the Editor,

For years the Cuomo administration; state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman; and their hysterical and retrograde antinuclear allies, including Riverkeeper, have waged a shameless campaign of fear, loathing, and—in the fashion of the day—fake news against Indian Point. “Not safe!” they cried, in determined contradiction of the repeatedly rendered expert opinion of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. “Not needed!” they insisted, willfully denying the plant’s reliable production of 2000-megawatts for New York Metro and the lower Hudson Valley 365 days a year, with zero emissions.

And don’t blame Entergy: they persevered for ten years and spent $200 million to keep the plant open, to no avail. They have, finally, yielded to the state’s implacable will. And the state will struggle to make us whole.

When Indian Point closes in 2021, we’ll realize exactly how not whole we are, but we can imagine the consequences already: a thousand high-skilled, good-paying jobs and the over $1.5 billion in economic activity they provide will be gone, together with 25 percent of our baseload power that once was generated locally.

We will gain something, though: millions of tons of carbon pollution pumped into our air by the likeliest alternative, fossil fuels. And that’s because the other fantasy vividly entertained by Indian Point’s opponents is that New York will become the home of enormous wind and solar projects—that’s right, the same Not-In-My-Back-Yard New York that fights against any major energy project.

So brace yourself, New Yorkers, one more blow is being struck to our prosperity and our environment, unwisely and unnecessarily, by our own state government. Governor Cuomo must now tell us exactly how he plans to bring the jobs back, make our energy affordable, and keep our air clean—and it’s our job to hold him to account for his actions.

Nan Hayworth, M.D.
Bedford, NY
The writer is a former Member of Congress from New York’s 19th Congressional District

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