Stop the Cuomo Tax is a grassroots campaign led by Food & Water Watch and the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG). For Immediate Release:October 27, 2016 Media Contact: Mark Dunlea (518) 860-3725 email@example.com More than 100 Groups Join Growing Campaign to Stop the Cuomo Tax; 25,000+ New Yorkers Sign Up to Oppose Cuomo Tax of Nearly $8 Billion in Increased Utility Rates During Statewide Day of Action, New Yorkers Reject Cuomo’s Billions for Planned Nuclear Power Bailout (view videos on Explore WESPAC) White Plains – A statewide campaign of over 100 organizations today urged Governor Cuomo to pull the plug on his plan to spend billions to bail out aging, unsafe upstate nuclear power plants. At rallies across the state, advocates and consumers mobilized against Governor Cuomo’s costly and increasingly unpopular nuclear bailout plan. They called on Cuomo to abandon his controversial and misguided plan to tax New Yorkers to pay nearly $8 billion to bail out a wealthy Chicago-based corporation that runs several failing nuclear power plants in the state. The direct hit to residential consumers alone will be huge. Con Edison customers’ electric bills alone go up by more than $700 million dollars. They already pay some of the highest electricity rates in the nation. Long Island customers’ bills will increase by $500 million and Niagara Mohawk bills by $465 million. To dramatize their message, supporters of the Stop the Cuomo Tax campaign delivered an oversized rejected utility bill to the Governor’s office in New York City, and held similar events in Albany, Long Island, Poughkeepsie and White Plains. Cuomo has directed the New York Public Service Commission (PSC) to insert into New York’s “Clean Energy Standard” a surcharge on utility bills designed to bail out failing nuclear power plants. The Cuomo Tax has nothing to do with clean energy. Instead, it will raise billions to prop up and subsidize three upstate nuclear plants – FitzPatrick, Ginna and Nine Mile Point – that are among the oldest plants still operating in the United States. Under the Cuomo Tax, regular New Yorkers will pay more for their utility bills over the next 12 years – from 2017 to 2029 – to bail out failing nuclear plants that should be replaced by energy efficiency and truly clean renewable energy. These aging and dangerous plants are losing money and their costs continue to rise the longer they stay open. Plus, more than one million New Yorkers already struggle to pay their utility bills every month. The total cost for bailing out the FitzPatrick, Ginna and Nine Mile Point nuclear plants could be nearly $8 billion, according to a new independent analysis from the Public Utility Law Project (PULP), a nonpartisan group that represents and advocates for low-income consumers in utility, telecommunications and energy-related matters. "Many low and moderate income consumers are having a hard time paying their utility bills. The last thing they need is a tax on their monthly utility bill to bail out the rich corporate owners of dirty, expensive nuclear power plants. If the Governor wants to create jobs and curb climate change, he should redirect the $7.6 billion into support for offshore wind and a major expansion of solar power," said Mark Dunlea of the Green Education and Legal Fund and 350NYC. “The campaign to Stop the Cuomo Tax grows stronger every day. Today, the people of New York sent a strong message to Governor Cuomo: don’t waste $7.6 billion of our money to prop up aging nuclear plants. It’s time for Governor Cuomo to listen to New Yorkers and invest in renewables, instead of wasting billions propping up the dirty fuels of the past,” said Greta Zarro, Organizer at Food & Water Watch “Nuclear power is a highly-polluting industrial process which produces large amounts of radioactive waste, heat, and greenhouse gases throughout its entire full fuel cycle. Characterization of nuclear as ‘zero-emission’ is, frankly, Orwellian. Nuclear power is actually a chain of highly energy-intensive industrial processes which – combined – consume large amounts of fossil fuels and generate potent warming gases in addition to toxic waste byproducts,” said Michel Lee, an attorney who has worked pro bono with citizen groups opposing the nuclear subsidy. “Imagine the broad benefits which would accrue if the same level of subsidies - $7.6 to $10 billion – was put to use upgrading the transmission grid or promoting green construction and technology," added Lee, who has been active with the Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition. "Clearwater opposes the nuclear subsidy included in the NYS Public Service Commission's Clean Energy Standard, because nuclear power is far from clean in its mining, milling transportation, use and storage. Nuclear plants emit radioactivity into the air, water and ground through planned and unplanned releases," noted Manna Jo Greene, Environmental Director for Hudson River Sloop Clearwater. "This mandatory 12-year subsidy means that ratepayer dollars that should be going to scale up renewables and energy efficiency are being used to bail out aging, unprofitable and dangerous nuclear plants, which will continue to generate highly radioactive nuclear waste for which there is no safe storage." ABOUT STOP THE CUOMO TAX Stop the Cuomo Tax is a grassroots campaign led by Food & Water Watch and the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG). To learn more, please visit www.StopTheCuomoTax.org.
via C.A.N. Coalition Against Nukes