State Assemblymember Jim Brennan (D-Brooklyn), Chair of the New York State Assembly’s Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions, supports Governor Cuomo’s call for closure of the two nuclear power plants at Indian Point because of safety concerns. In the course of researching Entergy’s claim that the closure would be devastating to the economy of the State, his office has determined that Entergy is being allowed to operate its plants without providing an annual financial and operating report to the Public Service Commission, despite a state law that requires all electric corporations that sell power to file an annual report. The Commission confirmed that it is not requiring the reports.
In a letter to Chairperson Garry Brown of the Public Service Commission, Mr. Brennan said the Commission should immediately order the electric power producer industry, including Entergy, to file all required reports. “The Public Service Commission abandoned its fundamental statutory duty to oversee and assure just and reasonable rates, and it needs to immediately enforce the law,” Mr. Brennan said. “Mr. Brown was not the Chairman of the Commission when this decision was made, and he should take this opportunity to reverse this gutting of basic consumer protection,” he continued.
The Public Service Commission, in a 1990’s Pataki-era decision at the beginning of deregulation, gave exemptions to several cogeneration companies on the grounds they were competitive. As deregulation continued and independent power companies bought the utility industry’s power plants and built new ones, the Commission never ordered them to file. The State’s independent power producers, which own anywhere from one to 75 power plants, include many of the nation’s largest corporations. Brennan also indicated he would submit legislation ordering the Public Service Commission to obtain the reports.
“Investigation of Entergy’s finances, operations and costs is the first step in a plan to address the possible closure of the nuclear facilities,” Mr. Brennan said. Brennan has called on Entergy to provide immediate and full disclosure in a letter to the company president. Mr. Brennan said, “We need to know to whom Entergy is selling power, at what price, how much it is making, what its costs are, and how the power can be replaced and at what price.”
Mr. Brennan has also sent a letter to the City of New York and several other governmental entities that are large recipients of Entergy’s power, through contracts with the State Power Authority, calling on them to prepare for the possible closure of the plant and produce new power with cogeneration, solar and other renewable energies. Demand in the public sector in the metropolitan area is roughly equal to the output of the two nuclear plants.