The Hill is a newspaper that concentrates on Congress, so it would be churlish to complain about coverage of a particular issue being too political. (And heck, we like politics!) Still, we’d like to follow up on a Dec. 13th front-page article about the fate of the Indian Point Energy Center in Buchanan, N.Y., with one observation.
It’s an interesting piece, framing the debate about Entergy’s application to relicense the nuclear power plant as a matter of New York-flavored presidential politics, i.e. Hillary versus Rudy, Clinton versus Giuliani. Giuliani was on hand Nov. 22 in Yonkers when Entergy announced the license application. Clinton has called for an independent safety assessment of the plant, while N.Y. House Democrats have urged its closure for environmental and health reasons. The story quotes various members of Congress as well as Patrick Moore, the Greenpeace co-founder who now campaigns for nuclear power as an environmentally friendly energy source.
But manufacturers might well have ended this political take on Indian Point with one question: What about the energy the plant produces?
For an answer, let’s turn gratefully to a Dec. 5th op-ed in the New York Post by Matthew C. Cordaro, the former president of the Midwest Independent System Operator and director of the Center for Management Analysis at Long Island University:
Indian Point’s 2,000 megawatts (MW) supply 30 percent of New York City and the surrounding region’s electricity on a typical day, including much of the energy required by the mass-transit system run by Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The plant has been a powerful economic engine, responsible for economic activity (including jobs, taxes, economic output and labor income, purchases, contributions to the local community, etc.) totaling $763.3 million a year for Westchester and surrounding counties. Since nuclear power provides electricity without creating air pollution, Indian Point mitigates the release of 14 million tons a year of harmful emissions that would come from other sources of power, such as coal. Nuclear plants are “base-load” sources of power: They run 24/7, reinforcing the reliability of the state’s power supply. This is particularly vital for commercial and industrial users: Reliable power is a must if they’re to plan on expanding business in New York.
Politics is fine, interesting, and we political junkies appreciate a good candidate-vs.-candidate story.
But for manufacturers and the economy, energy comes first.
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