An Update on Clearwater’s Article 78 Legal Challenge to Tier 3 Nuclear Subsidy

On December 15, the NY State Public Service Commission responded to the 18 Petitions for Rehearing on the Clean Energy Standard by denying all but one of them.  They agreed with Exelon to remove any requirements related to the sale of FitzPatrick, an unprofitable nuclear plant in western NY that Exelon has already agreed to purchase from Entergy, assuming the nuclear subsidy, which will accrue to them is already a fait accomplit.  The PSC denial of the various points made in the Petitions for Rehearing and the comments on these petitions makes the Article 78 challenge to the PSC;s mandatory, 12-year Tier 3 nuclear subsidy by Clearwater and Goshen Green Farms all the more important to pursue.  On December 21 a stipulation was signed by all parties extending the deadline for submitting an amended Article 78 filing to January 13.  (Article 78 means we believe this government agency acted in a manner that was “arbitrary and capricious” and their action should be null and void.)

There are now two actions to take:

  1. If anyone (individual, household, business, organization or municipality is already purchasing 100% renewable energy in NY State and wants to become a co-petitioner because you object to also having to pay the nuclear subsidy on top of the premium you have already chosen to pay to support renewable energy, please go to www.surveymonkey.com/r/100percentrenewables
    to take a short survey and sign up.  We will get back to you asap with a statement that can be included in our legal filing, if you wish. If you are already purchasing 100% renewable energy credits from a third party energy company such as Green Mountain Energy, Con Ed Solutions, Ethical Energy or any other similar provider, please fill out the survey — by Jan. 4 at the latest — to join our legal challenge.
  2. If your organization wants to join our lawsuit as a co-petitioner (whether or not you purchase 100% renewables), you will need to submit an affidavit stating the reason for your standing and your interest in the case.  Our lawyers can assist you with this.  Please contact mannajo@clearwater.org for details — by Jan.4 at the latest.

(Please note, if you are generating your own renewables with roof-top or ground-mounted solar, you will not have to pay very much of the nuclear subsidy since it will be based on net use per billing period, and your net use is very low.  You are making a valuable contribution already, and do not need to join this lawsuit.)

We will keep you posted as the case progresses, as this is a landmark proceeding and will likely set the pace for the rest of the country to follow. It is high time to use our resources to transition to a renewable energy economy — not to subsidize aging, failing, outmoded and no longer profitable nuclear reactors, which generate huge amounts of highly radioactive waste every day they operate.

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