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Dear Friends,

Did you know that New York State electricity customers are being forced to pay $7.6 billion over 12 years to subsidize the continued operation of four unprofitable nuclear reactors on the shores of Lake Ontario? The first year of the subsidy has already cost ratepayers $480 million. And all ratepayers in New York State could be paying it for the next 11 years.

This money is being given to Exelon Corporation, the largest utility company in our country, with no requirements on how it is used. It can even be used to increase dividends to shareholders! Every month, through your electricity bill, you are paying for this New York State “Clean Energy Standard” subsidy that was demanded by Exelon and pushed  through by Governor Cuomo and his Public Service Commission just to keep the company’s unsuccessful reactors operating.

At the same time, we are facing an historic moment in climate change. People will look back on this as an opportunity squandered if huge amounts of money that could have been used to support renewables and clean energy are diverted to subsidize old, failing nuclear plants. We have to take action now or we will have surrendered our future to the largest utility company in the U.S. This giveaway must be stopped!

That is why we have joined in a lawsuit against the NY Public Service Commission using Article 78 of the New York State Constitution that allows citizens to go to court to challenge arbitrary and capricious government actions. The lawsuit is low key drama that is playing out in court rooms in Albany: not exactly headline material so you won’t see much about it in the news or on social media. But you can count on us to keep you informed in every way we can. Those who like details may want to read the account of the last two years we have spent fighting this subsidy at www.ipsecinfo.org.

We’re working along with our allies including Clearwater and Nuclear Information and Resource Service – BUT TO CONTINUE WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT! It has taken two years to get to this point and it is certain that there is a long fight ahead. Our dedicated legal team is up against the ‘deep pockets’ of the State so please contribute whatever you can to help us win this fight for all New Yorkers.

Online donations can be made at: https://www.gofundme.com/stop-the-bailout or you can send your check payable to “Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition” to IPSEC, PO Box 131, Ossining, NY 10562. There is also a link on our website, www.ipsecinfo.org using our fiscal sponsor A. J. Musti that can also be used for online donations for those who need a tax deduction. Please mark your donation “IPSEC-Article 78.” and share this information with your circle of friends and others who might be willing to help.

In Solidarity,

Leadership Council of the Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition

Judy Allen, Marilyn Elie, Ken Okin, Margo Schepart, Gary Shaw, Jeanne D. Shaw, Nancy Vann

 

For more information and a deeper understanding of how this happened,  what it means and what we have been doing for the last two years in this struggle visit www.ipsecinfo.org.

 

 

Background Information on our Article 78 Case Against the State Of New York

 

Part of the current New York State program that is our “Clean Energy Standard” (CES) is anything but clean and green and you are paying for it every month in your electricity bill.  It was forced into the Clean Energy Standard under a guise called Tier 3.  Many of us protested mightily when we saw the implications of what Governor Cuomo and his appointees at the Public Service Commission were doing.  We went to a New York City public hearing where the PSC was ill prepared for the crowds that turned out. Perhaps you were one of the concerned citizens that waited outside in the streets in an attempt to get into to the public hearing and tell the PSC what you thought of their plan to subsidize reactors on the shores of Lake Ontario and potentially Indian Point. Gary and Jeanne Shaw and Marilyn Elie were there and spoke along with others from Westchester because this is not a New York City local issue. It is tax money from everyone in the State of New York.

We succeeded in having them hold an additional hearing in Cortlandt Manor so that more voices could be heard.  Perhaps you were at that hearing.  Gary and Marilyn, along with others, spoke at that meeting. Gary was eloquent in asking detailed questions that were never answered. He offered written testimony which was supposedly entered into the record.  We listened to a representative tell us that if the electricity produced at Indian Point was taken off the grid it would leave a “hole” in the electricity supply that would have to be filled. He had what we later realized was a phony graph to emphasize his point. We did not quite understand at the time just how much of a lie this was, nor did we expect to be lied to. Some of us went to Albany and joined other environmental groups speaking out against this subsidy. We realized at the time it would set a terrible national precedent – as indeed it has.

Despite all we could do, Tier 3 and zero emissions credits or ZEC’s were speedily approved by the PSC. Money to pay the subsidy demanded by Exelon to keep the reactors operating was added as a hidden charge to the electricity bill of every New Yorker. Look for it next month and you won’t find it because the Governor and the PSC knew what an outcry would ensue if people could see clearly what was happening.  It is hidden in your rate per kilowatt hour. That means that big users of electricity like businesses, schools, hospitals, and municipal governments will see their electricity bills go up and may need to raise your tax bill to pay for it. 

Over the next eleven years Exelon will receive 7.6 billion dollars and will continue to post record profits and give dividends to their shareholders.  This is money that could support renewables and green development. There is also a chance that at some point Entergy could apply for the same subsidy for Indian Point prior to its scheduled closing. 

That’s why we are proceeding with an Article 78 court case.  This kind of legal action is one that any citizen can bring against their government for arbitrary and capricious action.  Most cases never get off the ground because of time and legal expenses.  This time it is different.  We have a dedicated and knowledgeable legal team that has put in many hours of pro bono work already, but there are many costs, such as filing fees and copying records that add up quickly. It is historic that this case has been accepted by the court for advancement. We are working in concert with our allies the Nuclear Information and Resource Services and Hudson River Sloop Clearwater. All three groups have pledged $5,000 to continue this case. IPSEC has already raised three thousand dollars of the five thousand that is our part of our initial contribution to cover court costs and legal fees. We need your donation to cover the rest of our contribution.  Our lawyers cannot continue to work pro bono forever. 

As our legal team looks at the record it becomes ever more apparent just how arbitrary, capricious, careless and sloppy the PSC was in its proceedings.  Along with others, Gary’s testimony is nowhere to be found in the written record. Many of the steps documenting public participation which the PSC was bound by law to consider are just not there. We have had to go back and literally recreate an accurate record so that it could be entered into court proceedings.  Clearly the fix was in, with very little to disguise what would happen after the required but bothersome, pro forma public hearings were over. If there ever was a capricious and arbitrary action on the part of our state government – this is it.  And the judge agrees with us, which is why this case is going forward.

As citizens of New York State we deserve better than this.  We are entitled to good government, not corrupt practices, and to our day in court to call politicians and the agencies they control to account. Their strategy is already clear.  They will seek delay after delay in order to exhaust our funds and our determination.  They underestimate us and our will to continue.

Yes, it all comes down to money and this is an appeal to join us as we continue down this road.  If we do not take this journey together no one else will.  It has taken two years to get to this point.  It is certain that there is a long fight ahead.  You won’t read much about it the news. It is low drama that is playing out in court rooms in Albany:  not exactly headline material. We will certainly keep you informed and if you want to talk this over in person call us at 888-474-8848 and we will get back to you promptly. 

Online donations can be made at: https://www.gofundme.com/stop-the-bailout or you can send your check payable to “Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition” to IPSEC, PO Box 131, Ossining, NY 10562. There is also a link on our website, www.ipsecinfo.org using our fiscal sponsor A. J. Musti that can also be used for online donations for those who need a tax deduction. Please mark your donation “IPSEC-Article 78.” and share this information with your circle of friends and others who might be willing to help. This is a rare plea from those of us who have been on the front line for what seems like forever.  It is a heavy lift and we cannot do it alone.  We are counting on you. 

 

In Solidarity,

Leadership Council of the Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition

Judy Allen, Marilyn Elie, Ken Okin, Margo Schepart, Gary Shaw, Jeanne D. Shaw, Nancy Vann