5.25.18: Statement on PJM Capacity Auctions

For Immediate Release: May 25, 2018

NO SURPRISE: PSEG CLEARS PJM AUCTION, WAS NEVER POISED TO CLOSE PLANTS

 

Trenton, NJ - Matt Fossen, spokesperson for the NJ Coalition for Fair Energy, released the following statement today after it was revealed that two New Jersey nuclear plants owned by PSEG cleared the most recent capacity auction held by regional grid operator PJM:

“The fact that PSEG’s plants cleared the auction isn’t surprising, yet it’s disappointing that Governor Murphy didn’t wait to see the results before signing a massive bailout. The bottom line is that PSEG will now get hundreds of millions of dollars through PJM in addition to the billion plus ratepayer dollars it’ll enjoy with its bailout. There was never any indication that PSEG’s plants were going to close, and while the auction proved as much, Trenton decided to take the bait, act prematurely, and give PSEG money it never needed. This is both wrong in principle and unsustainable in practice. It’s also a shame New Jersey ratepayers will feel the aftermath via higher electricity bills, and even worse that their Governor - who has branded himself a champion for the middle class - happily signed off on such blatant corporate welfare.”

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5.23.18: Statement on S. 2313

For Immediate Release: May 23, 2018

“IT’S UNFORTUNATE THE COURTS MAY BE NECESSARY TO BRING A DOSE OF REASON TO THE DEBATE”

 

Trenton, NJ - Matt Fossen, spokesperson for the NJ Coalition for Fair Energy, released the following statement today after Governor Murphy signed legislation to provide a bailout to two nuclear plants owned by PSEG:

“Today’s news is a disappointment for many, and a major setback for ratepayers. While PSEG shareholders just became more prosperous, the reality is New Jersey consumers now have to confront higher electric bills for no reason other than to bail out PSEG management’s bad business decisions. We wish officials would’ve waited to make a decision until after the results of PJM’s capacity auction were announced, which will be literally only hours after the Governor’s signing, but this issue is not over - and it’s unfortunate the courts may be necessary to bring a dose of reason to the debate.”

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5.8.18: Statement on PSEG Suggesting Plant Closure Even Upon Receiving Bailout

For Immediate Release: May 8, 2018

SHOCK: NUKES MIGHT CLOSE EVEN WITH SUBSIDY

 

Trenton, NJ - Matt Fossen, spokesperson for the NJ Coalition for Fair Energy, released the following statement today after PSEG revealed that it won’t guarantee it will keep its New Jersey nuclear plants open even if they receive a multi-billion dollar bailout:

“The fact that PSEG would now - after getting approval in the legislature - clarify that it might shutter its nuclear plants even after receiving a bailout is an insult to each and every New Jersey ratepayer. Throughout this process, we’ve heard PSEG say incessantly that this proposal is necessary to keep its plants afloat. Yet now we find out - in a presentation to shareholders - that the company could still close the plants after collecting an annual $320 million check. This proves once and for all that PSEG sees New Jersey residents as nothing more than a potential cash cow. It's not only wrong, it's a gross misuse of the political process.”

PSEG’s stance, articulated in a footnote on page six of the company’s 2018 Q1 earnings call presentation, is that “There is no assurance that any PSEG Power facility will satisfy the eligibility requirements for ZEC payments or, if satisfied, whether such ZEC payments will provide a sufficient safety net for continued operations.”  The emergence of this detail coincides with news that the proposal in question would fund facilities in Pennsylvania - a fact PSEG acknowledged during the same earnings call.

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5.1.18: Statement on Comments by Ralph Izzo

For Immediate Release: May 1, 2018

“IT’S INCREDIBLY RICH THAT PSEG WOULD DEFLECT THIS POINT AT EVERY TURN, JUST TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE TRUTH YESTERDAY”

 

Trenton, NJ - Matt Fossen, spokesperson for the NJ Coalition for Fair Energy, released the following statement today after PSEG CEO Ralph Izzo admitted that legislation to subsidize two of his New Jersey nuclear plants could also give a bailout to out-of-state facilities:

“It’s been well-known for months that PSEG’s nuclear bailout bill would send money to generators outside of New Jersey, yet only now has the company conceded this could be true. It’s incredibly rich that PSEG would deflect this point at every turn, just to acknowledge the truth yesterday - well after the proposal has gone through its main debate and deliberation. That might be a convenient strategy for PSEG, but it’s a detail that should’ve been stated forthrightly to lawmakers and ratepayers long ago, especially since New Jerseyans are not interested in bailing out plants outside their borders.”

Izzo’s comments come on the heels of a third party public opinion poll which showed that 64% of New Jersey voters do not support subsidizing PSEG’s plants and that 46% are less likely to vote for a politician who votes for a subsidy bill. The same data showed that 66% of voters are less likely to vote for a politician who supports a proposal which subsidizes out-of-state generators.

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4.12.18: Statement on S. 2313/A. 3724

For Immediate Release: April 12, 2018

“WE URGE GOVERNOR MURPHY TO DO WHAT’S BEST FOR NEW JERSEY RATEPAYERS BY VETOING THIS UNNECESSARY ENERGY TAX”

 

Trenton, NJ - Matt Fossen, spokesperson for the NJ Coalition for Fair Energy, released the following statement today after S. 2313/A. 3724 were jointly passed by the New Jersey General Assembly and Senate:

“The results of today’s vote are disappointing and disconcerting. What lawmakers have agreed to is not necessary financial assistance. It is a massive corporate bailout, paid for by a tax hike on ratepayers, simply to pad the bottom line of plants which are demonstrably profitable. While today’s outcome is a setback, it is not the end of this issue - and we will continue to reiterate the facts about PSEG’s nuclear plants. We urge Governor Murphy to recall those facts, and do what’s best for New Jersey ratepayers by vetoing this unnecessary energy tax.”

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4.10.18: New Poll Examines Public Opinion of PSEG Nuclear Bailout Bill, Shows Only 18% Support Proposal

For Immediate Release: April 10, 2018

NEW POLL EXAMINES PUBLIC OPINION OF PSEG NUCLEAR BAILOUT BILL, SHOWS ONLY 18% SUPPORT PROPOSAL

THIRD-PARTY SURVEY DEMONSTRATES WIDESPREAD DISAPPROVAL FOR PROPOSED TAX HIKE, VOTERS LESS LIKELY TO SUPPORT LEGISLATORS WHO SUPPORT PSEG SUBSIDY

 

Trenton, NJ - The NJ Coalition for Fair Energy today released a third-party poll gauging public opinion surrounding a proposed bailout bill for two PSEG nuclear plants (S. 2313 and A. 3724). The results, compiled on April 8 and based on responses from 632 New Jersey residents who vote in Gubernatorial year elections, demonstrate staunch dislike for the bill and its corresponding rate hike. The poll was conducted by Fifty One Percent.

“If there was ever any question about where the public stands on PSEG’s bailout bill, the results are now in,” said Matt Fossen, coalition spokesperson. “The bottom line is New Jerseyans do not want higher taxes, are against subsidizing out-of-state generators, and won’t support legislators who give PSEG the ratepayer-funded check it wants. We’ve known this much from day one, and the latest data tells the same exact story.”

Among the poll’s findings are that 64% of voters do not support subsidizing PSEG’s plants (18% said yes and another 18% said they were unsure) and 46% are less likely to vote for a politician who votes for a subsidy bill (10% said they were more likely to vote for such a politician, while 26% said it’d make no difference and 18% were unsure). In all, 52% of voters think that New Jersey's nuclear plants should close if they are not profitable, or should close whether they are profitable or not.

“Whether it’s the United States broadly or New Jersey specifically, the job of electeds is to represent the will of the people,” continued Fossen. “In this case, the people are clear: they don’t want to pay steeper electric bills, and they certainly don’t believe their money should be going to plants across state lines. Lawmakers are wise to heed this, especially since voters have made clear they won’t be fond of officials who vote for this bill come next elections.”

Under the legislation in question, New Jersey ratepayers would pay an extra $300 million annually on their energy bills - in part to subsidize out-of-state plants. Today’s survey showed that 66% of voters are less likely to vote for a politician who supports this kind of proposal (7% said they would be more likely to vote for a politician who supported out-of-state subsidies, while 14% said it’d make no difference and 13% were unsure).

“In the end, legislators need only take stock of the dividing line in this debate,” concluded Fossen. “Among those opposed to a bailout are environmental groups, power producers, consumer advocacy groups, the general voting public and more. Those supporting the idea? Just PSEG. This should be telling, and symptomatic of just how bad PSEG’s demand is.”

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4.5.18: Statement on S. 2313/A. 3724


For Immediate Release: April 5, 2018

“TODAY’S VOTE MARKS A MISGUIDED STEP TOWARDS DISASTER FOR NEW JERSEY”

 

Trenton, NJ - Matt Fossen, spokesperson for the NJ Coalition for Fair Energy, released the following statement today after S. 2313/A. 3724 were jointly passed out of the Assembly Appropriations Committee and Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee:

“Today’s vote marks a misguided step towards disaster for New Jersey. It is abundantly clear by now that ratepayers cannot afford a multi-billion dollar tax hike, paid to fund a bailout for two demonstrably profitable nuclear plants, just so PSEG shareholders can make some extra money.”

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4.3.18: NJ Coalition For Fair Energy Releases New TV Ad, Asks Why New Jerseyans Should Face Tax Hike to Fund Nuclear Bailout

For Immediate Release: April 3, 2018

NJ COALITION FOR FAIR ENERGY RELEASES NEW TV AD, ASKS WHY NEW JERSEYANS SHOULD FACE TAX HIKE TO FUND NUCLEAR BAILOUT

LATEST AD HIGHLIGHTS INCREASED RATES SOUGHT BY PSEG UNDER HANDOUT BILL

 

Trenton, NJ - The NJ Coalition for Fair Energy today released its latest ad in opposition to a bailout for PSEG’s Hope Creek and Salem nuclear plants. The spot, titled “Toxic,” takes aim at legislation (S. 2313 and A. 3724) which would impose a tax hike on New Jersey ratepayers to give the plants a bailout worth over $300 million per year.

To see the ad, click here.

For a transcript of the ad, see below:

[Air raid sirens]

Narrator: It’s toxic for New Jersey...

Narrator: PSE&G wants to raise electric rates for New Jersey families and businesses, just so PSE&G can get a three hundred million dollar a year bailout they don’t even need…

Narrator: PSE&G already makes a profit, and just got a $650 million dollar tax break from Donald Trump…

Narrator: With New Jersey already paying some of the highest utility rates in the country, this bailout for PSE&G is toxic...

Narrator: Tell your legislator to stop the PSE&G energy tax.

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3.12.18: Despite PSEG Scare Tactics, Plants Must Operate Through At Least 2021

For Immediate Release: March 12, 2018

DESPITE PSEG SCARE TACTICS, PLANTS MUST OPERATE THROUGH AT LEAST 2021

COALITION CONTINUES TO OPPOSE MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR BAILOUT PROPOSAL, REMINDS PUBLIC THAT PSEG 'IMMINENT CLOSURE' THREATS ARE UNFOUNDED

 

Trenton, NJ - Amid ongoing debate over a bailout bill for two New Jersey nuclear plants owned by PSEG, as well as the company’s recent decision to withhold certain capital investments from one, the NJ Coalition for Fair Energy today pointed out that the plants’ service obligations to regional grid operator PJM will require them to remain operational to run through May 31, 2021.

“Even though weeks and months have passed since PSEG started demanding a subsidy to keep running their New Jersey nuclear plants, the truth remains the same,” said coalition spokesperson Matt Fossen. “The bottom line is that PSEG has obligated both plants to operate through at least 2021. Let’s be clear - there is no imminent threat of closure, and PSEG’s latest capital withholding stunt is nothing more than a scare tactic to bully and deceive lawmakers.”

In addition, PSEG recently declined to drop the plants from the next regional grid service auction - thereby suggesting they intend to keep the facilities running.  If PSEG’s New Jersey nuclear plants clear the reliability auction, it will extend their obligation to run through 2022.

“With PSEG taking no action to remove themselves from the PJM auction process, the smart move for New Jersey Legislators is to wait until after the next reliability auction results are announced to see the definitive facts on their financial standing,” said Fossen. “If the plants do not clear it means they are not needed for reliability and can retire.  If they clear, they are necessary for reliability and obligated to run, regardless of whether they have a state subsidy or not.”

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3.2.18: Statement On PSEG Witholding Capital from Salem Plant

For Immediate Release: March 2, 2018

“PSEG SHOULD DROP ‘PUBLIC SERVICE’ FROM THEIR NAME”

 

Trenton, NJ - Matt Fossen, spokesperson for the NJ Coalition for Fair Energy, released the following statement today after it was reported that PSEG is canceling future capital for one of its nuclear plants in Salem County because of delays in passing its sought-after nuclear bailout bill:  

“This is yet another example of nuclear owners holding their states hostage. It’s ironic that PSEG will pass on lavish dividends to their New York-based investors while at the same time threatening to withhold much-needed investments from local communities. PSEG should drop ‘public service’ from their name because the only people they're looking to serve are their shareholders."

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2.22.18: Statement On S. 877

For Immediate Release: February 22, 2018

“TODAY’S VOTE IS BAD NEWS FOR NEW JERSEY RATEPAYERS”

 

Trenton, NJ - Matt Fossen, spokesperson for the NJ Coalition for Fair Energy, released the following statement today after S. 877 - a bill which would subsidize two in-state nuclear stations owned by PSEG - passed a joint hearing by Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee and Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee:

“Today's vote is bad news for New Jersey ratepayers. All the available evidence demonstrates that the bill at hand would raise electric rates and hamper the state’s economy, just to enrich shareholders who invest in already-profitable plants. Though the result of today’s hearing is not good, the facts - which are on our side - remain front-and-center in this debate, and they show that this bill is nothing more than a handout for plants that are rolling in money, out of state, or both.”

S. 877’s passage comes on the heels of a new ad released by the coalition, as well as news that PSEG believes the bill will help it increase its rate of return for the two plants to 18%. In an interview with The Bergen Record, company CEO Ralph Izzo said that rate would make it worthwhile to keep the plants running. The company has relatedly just announced that it is increasing its annual dividend rate by 4.7%.

Expert accounts universally show that the nuclear portion of the bill will cost state ratepayers at least $300 million per year.

Research by Acadian Consulting Group shows that subsidizing PSEG would create negative “ripple effects throughout the New Jersey economy.” Those include increased energy bills, reduced expenditures by area businesses, lowered consumer incomes as well as losses in individual spending. Between the ratepayer impact and economic losses, the research finds the proposal would create $5.4 billion in unrealized economic opportunity over ten years.

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2.21.18: NJ Coalition For Fair Energy Releases New TV Ad, Asks Why Nuke Plants Should Be Treated Like Renewables

For Immediate Release: February 21, 2018

NJ COALITION FOR FAIR ENERGY RELEASES NEW TV AD, ASKS WHY NUKE PLANTS SHOULD BE TREATED LIKE RENEWABLES

"WE THINK" SPOT HIGHLIGHTS TAX HIKE SOUGHT BY PSEG, IMPACT ON RATEPAYERS

 

Trenton, NJ - The NJ Coalition for Fair Energy announced today a new ad in opposition to legislation which would subsidize PSEG’s Hope Creek and Salem nuclear stations. The spot is titled “We Think,” takes aim at S. 877/A. 2850 (which tack an annual $300M nuclear subsidy onto a collection of renewable energy initiatives), and corresponds to a broader campaign by the group to shed light on the fact that the bills would needlessly increase energy costs for everyone in New Jersey.

“The line of opposition to this bill is out the door and around the block,” said coalition spokesperson Matt Fossen. “The facts speak for themselves: neither PSEG nor its plants are struggling and the proposal at hand would wreak havoc on ratepayers. We hope this spot will encourage people throughout New Jersey to make their voices heard and oppose this senseless energy tax.”

The group’s latest ad comes on the heels of news that PSEG believes the proposal in question will help it increase its rate of return for the two plants to 18%. In an interview with The Bergen Record, company CEO Ralph Izzo said this rate would make it worthwhile to keep the plants running.

The NJ Coalition for Fair Energy is comprised of Calpine Corporation, Dynegy, NRG Energy, and the Electric Power Supply Association.

To see the ad, click here.

For a transcript of the ad, see below:

Senior Woman: We think Governor Murphy’s got the right idea.

Senior Man: Mm-hmm.

Senior Woman: He’s focused on renewable energy.

Senior Man: Mm-hmm.

Senior Woman: But PSE&G is trying to pull a fast one; passing off a nuclear plant as ‘renewable,’ just so they can raise our rates and get an extra three hundred million dollars a year!

Senior Man: [Rolls eyes]

Senior Woman: They don’t need the money.  PSE&G is already making a profit, and just got a $650 million dollar tax break from Donald Trump.

Senior Man: [Shakes head]

Senior Woman: We need to stop the PSE&G energy tax.

Senior Man: Mm-hmm.

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2.15.18: Statement On RGGI Legislation Passing State Assembly

For Immediate Release: February 15, 2018

 "REJOINING RGGI IS A BIG STEP FOR NEW JERSEY TO BECOME A NATIONAL LEADER IN ENERGY POLICY, AND SHOWS STATE LEADERS ARE SERIOUS ABOUT INVESTING IN OUR FUTURE"

 

Trenton, NJ - Matt Fossen, spokesperson for the NJ Coalition for Fair Energy, released the following statement today after A. 1212 - a bill which requires New Jersey to rejoin the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and mandates the proceeds from the program go toward fighting climate change - passed through the State Assembly:

 “Today’s passage is a major accomplishment for legislators, and advances Governor Murphy’s forward-thinking energy agenda. Rejoining RGGI is a big step for New Jersey to become a national leader in energy policy, and shows state leaders are serious about investing in our future - rather than complacently spending money on the past.”

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2.8.18: New Rate Counsel Study Shows PSEG Subsidy Will Harm Ratepayers, Lead To Over $5B In Lost Economic Output

For Immediate Release: February 8, 2018

NEW RATE COUNSEL STUDY SHOWS PSEG SUBSIDY WILL HARM RATEPAYERS, LEAD TO OVER $5B IN LOST ECONOMIC OUTPUT

ASSESSMENT CONDUCTED BY ACADIAN CONSULTING GROUP WARNS OF ECONOMIC LOSSES FROM NUCLEAR HANDOUT, CITING LESS BUSINESS INVESTMENT AND LOWERED CONSUMPTION

 

Trenton, NJ - A new study commissioned by the New Jersey Division of Rate Counsel shows that S. 877 - a bill which would subsidize two in-state nuclear stations owned by PSEG - would severely harm ratepayers and stifle the state’s economy.

The assessment, titled “Report on Nuclear Portion of  Senate Bill 877,” was done by Acadian Consulting Group, and concluded that the legislation in question would create “an annual direct cost to ratepayers of $300,127,820” along with broader “ripple effects throughout the New Jersey economy.” Those include increased energy bills, reduced expenditures by area businesses, lowered consumer incomes as well as losses in individual spending. This, the research finds, equals an additional “$244 million per year in lost economic output,” for a grand total of  $5.4 billion in unrealized economic opportunity over ten years.

“The findings of the latest research into PSEG’s subsidy bill are sobering, but unfortunately not surprising,” said coalition spokesperson Matt Fossen. “All the available evidence indicates this legislation will wreak havoc on consumers, and, subsequently, New Jersey’s economy. This by itself should convince officials to disavow PSEG’s proposal, but what’s worse is that the company is demanding this handout while the plants are rolling in money.”

The question of PSEG’s New Jersey plants’ financial health has been thoroughly debated, with swaths of data showing they remain financially intact. Company officials are on the record saying the plants are and will remain profitable through at least 2019, while Ralph Izzo, PSEG’s CEO, has reiterated elsewhere that both are undeniably “in the black.” Further evidence shows that the company earned $3 billion in gross profits during 2017 alone, while a recent study by Energyzt Advisors demonstrated that the plants “have always been profitable and will continue to be so through at least 2021.” Other reports show that PSEG will take home $850 million (of which $650 million would go specifically to the subsidiary which runs the plants) under the newly enacted federal corporate tax cut, while elsewhere the company filed for a rate hike with the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities to charge customers an additional $20 per year for $95 million extra in annual revenue.

“When it comes to the necessity of a subsidy for PSEG, the facts are clear,” continued Fossen. “Neither the company nor its plants need assistance, and by all accounts both are making windfalls. This makes the subsidy they’re asking for even worse, yet that’s still an understatement. Rewarding PSEG with unwarranted money isn’t just bad; it’s unethical in principle and unsustainable in practice.”

Acadian’s research comes on the heels of news that Exelon Corporation, another energy company which has sought nuclear subsidies, is doubling its rate of dividend growth (from 2.5% to 5%) because of recently secured handouts in Illinois and New York. The move was first announced on January 30th, and reiterated on February 7th in an earnings report. Many commentators have labeled the move a quintessential wealth transfer, and others have worried that PSEG would do the same if given a subsidy. According to Energyzt, that’s precisely what would happen, saying a subsidy for the company would - like Exelon - “simply flow to the equity investors.”

“Stopping a PSEG energy tax isn’t just about protecting consumers and the economy,” concluded Fossen. “It’s about ensuring a competitive market, and not robbing everyday people just to pad a wealthy company’s bottom line or make its investors richer. Anyone with common sense can see this, and we hope leaders in Trenton are no different.”

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2.7.18: Statement On Exelon Earnings Report

For Immediate Release: February 7, 2018

"THE LATEST DATA ON EXELON'S FINANCES IS TELLING, AND ONLY CONFIRMS WHAT MANY HAVE WORRIED COULD HAPPEN WITH PSEG IF IT GETS A NUCLEAR SUBSIDY OF ITS OWN"

 

Trenton, NJ - Matt Fossen, spokesperson for the NJ Coalition for Fair Energy, released the following statement today after a new earnings report from Exelon Corporation showed the company was doubling its rate of dividend growth from 2.5% to 5% while acknowledging that this was in part thanks to recently secured nuclear subsidies in Illinois and New York:

“The latest data on Exelon’s finances is telling, and only confirms what many have worried could happen with PSEG if it gets a nuclear subsidy of its own in New Jersey. The figures show that not only did Exelon get richer because of nuclear subsidies in Illinois and New York, the result was increased returns for company shareholders. This is not what subsidies are meant for, nor is it what ‘necessary assistance’ looks like. What Exelon calls a subsidy is in fact a wealth transfer, at the expense of ratepayers and to the sole benefit of investors - and there is no reason to assume PSEG wouldn’t do the same in New Jersey if it gets its way.”

The relation between Exelon’s nuclear subsidies and increased dividends has been well-documented, raising several questions about where ratepayer dollars go. Such concerns have been echoed in New Jersey, where PSEG is vying for a nuclear subsidy which will cost over $300 million per year and translate to an extra $41 annually on consumers’ energy bills. A recent study by Energyzt Advisors confirmed that PSEG’s New Jersey nuclear plants “have always been profitable and will continue to be so through at least 2021,” and further found that - like Exelon - a subsidy “will simply flow to the equity investors.”

“The bottom line is we’ve seen this experiment run several times before, and the result is always the same,” concluded Fossen. “When you give massive ratepayer-funded subsidies to nuclear plants that are demonstrably profitable, the money always flows to investors while ratepayers get robbed blind. Exelon’s newest data confirms this, and all the available evidence shows PSEG would be no different.”

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1.29.18: Statement On RGGI Executive Order

For Immediate Release: January 29, 2018

 "GOVERNOR MURPHY HAS MADE A WISE DECISION TO RE-ENROLL NEW JERSEY in rggi"

 

Trenton, NJ - Matt Fossen, spokesperson for the NJ Coalition for Fair Energy, released the following statement today after Governor Murphy signed an executive order to re-enter the state into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI):

“Governor Murphy has made a wise decision to re-enroll New Jersey in RGGI, and today’s executive order will long be remembered as a great step forward for the state’s energy future. Returning to RGGI will be a boon for New Jersey on many fronts, and ensure that our state becomes a leader on the national stage. As legislators continue to sort through various energy policy proposals, they must follow suit with Governor Murphy and begin preparing for 2060, rather than trying to recreate 1960. Rejoining RGGI undoubtedly fits that description, but other ideas, like issuing special legislative handouts to already-profitable nuclear plants, do not. We hope officials will be able to make this distinction as the legislative session continues, and thank Governor Murphy again for his bold leadership.”

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1.22.18: Statement On RGGI Legislation

For Immediate Release: January 22, 2018

"TODAY'S DEVELOPMENT IS GREAT NEWS FOR NEW JERSEY, AND MARKS A POSITIVE STEP FORWARD FOR GOVERNOR MURPHY'S AMBITIOUS ENERGY AGENDA"

 

Trenton, NJ - Matt Fossen, spokesperson for the NJ Coalition for Fair Energy, released the following statement today after S. 874 and S. 611 - bills pertaining to New Jersey’s re-entry into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) - passed through the State Environment and Energy Committee:

“Today’s development is great news for New Jersey, and marks a positive step forward for Governor Murphy’s ambitious energy agenda. Rejoining RGGI would help New Jersey on many fronts, and demonstrate that legislators are thinking seriously about our future. Every dollar spent on energy in New Jersey either moves us forward or steers us backward. Today’s vote shows legislators want to do the former, and favor preparing for 2060 rather than recreating 1960. It also resembles yet another existing regional resource that struggling nuclear generators could rely on, thereby negating the need for special legislative handouts.”

###

 

1.12.18: New PSEG Filing To SEC Confirms Company Stands To Make As Much As $650M Under New Federal Tax Law, Demonstrates Previous Demands For NJ Subsidy Are Unnecessary

For Immediate Release: January 12, 2018

NEW PSEG FILING TO SEC CONFIRMS COMPANY STANDS TO MAKE AS MUCH AS $650M UNDER NEW FEDERAL TAX LAW, DEMONSTRATES PREVIOUS DEMANDS FOR NJ SUBSIDY ARE UNNECESSARY

8-K DOCUMENT SIGNED BY PSEG SHOWS CORPORATE TAX CUT WILL ENSURE WINDFALL, WORTH OVER DOUBLE PROPOSED CONSUMER-FUNDED HANDOUT

 

Trenton, NJ - A newly signed 8-K filing made by PSEG shows that the company is poised to make several hundreds of millions of dollars under the recently enacted federal tax law, confirming arguments made by the NJ Coalition for Fair Energy that a New Jersey ratepayer-funded subsidy for the company’s two nuclear plants is unnecessary and wrong.

“The contents of PSEG’s latest SEC documentation are astonishing, and should motivate every New Jersey consumer to write their legislator,” said coalition spokesperson Matt Fossen. “What this filing shows is that PSEG, by its own admission, is set to receive a major corporate tax cut and make hundreds of millions of dollars along the way. More importantly, the amount PSEG will make off the new tax law is significantly more than what they’d be given under a ratepayer-funded New Jersey subsidy. This is no small detail, and proves once and for all why a special state handout is unwarranted.”

The filing, signed by PSEG Power Vice President and Controller Stuart Black, outlines the effects of the recently passed federal tax bill. On page 2, the company acknowledges it will enjoy a financial benefit because of the policy, worth between $530 million and $650 million. Observers have been quick to notice that this number is significantly higher than the value of a proposed subsidy in New Jersey, which is put around $300 million (of which PSEG would take roughly $200 million).

“The question for New Jersey is simple: if in fact PSEG’s plants truly need financial assistance, where is that help best found?” asked Fossen. “One option is a special, ratepayer-funded deal in the state legislature, which by all accounts will hurt consumers and businesses while breaking Governor-elect Murphy’s environmental promises. Another is the windfall the company will make under the new tax rules, which gives them more than double what they were asking consumers for just a few days ago. Everyone knows the answer to this question, and if PSEG is telling the truth about their plants’ condition, they should be the first to now acknowledge that a state subsidy is unnecessary.”

The question of PSEG’s New Jersey plants’ financial health has been thoroughly debated, with swaths of data showing they remain secure. Company officials are on the record saying the plants are and will remain profitable through at least 2019, while Ralph Izzo, PSEG’s CEO, has reiterated elsewhere that both are undeniably “in the black.” Further evidence shows that the company earned $3 billion in gross profits during 2017 alone, while a recent study by Energyzt Advisors demonstrated that the plants “have always been profitable and will continue to be so through at least 2021.”

“In the end, the facts are definitive,” concluded Fossen. “Neither PSEG nor its plants are struggling, and yet should they ever land on hard times, the place to go would be the money made under their new corporate tax cut - not the pocketbooks of everyday New Jersey ratepayers.”

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1.4.18: Statement On S. 3560

For Immediate Release: January 4, 2018

"TODAY IS A VICTORY FOR NEW JERSEY RATEPAYERS AND BUSINESSES ALIKE"

 

Trenton, NJ - Matt Fossen, spokesperson for the NJ Coalition for Fair Energy, released the following statement today regarding S. 3560, a bill pertaining to the Hope Creek and Salem Nuclear stations, after it was announced that the proposal to subsidize both plants would not be taken up during the lame duck session:

“Today is a victory for New Jersey ratepayers and businesses alike, and we applaud the legislature for seeing through PSEG’s scare tactics and protecting our state’s future. The bottom line is that financial assistance should only be issued if it’s necessary, and the last few months proved that there was no reason to provide hundreds of millions of dollars to these already-profitable plants. We thank all those in the legislature who recognized this fact - including Speaker Prieto, whose understanding of the ramifications to New Jersey’s ratepayers and energy policy was crucial.”

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1.3.18: New Economic Study Shows PSEG New Jersey Nuclear Plants Slated To Remain Profitable Through At Least 2021, Subsidy Money Would Go To Shareholders

For Immediate Release: January 3rd, 2018

NEW ECONOMIC STUDY SHOWS PSEG NEW JERSEY NUCLEAR PLANTS SLATED TO REMAIN PROFITABLE THROUGH AT LEAST 2021, SUBSIDY MONEY WOULD GO TO SHAREHOLDERS

THIRD-PARTY STUDY CONDUCTED BY ENERGYZT DEMONSTRATES PSEG PLANTS POISED FOR HIGH REVENUE AND MASSIVE RETURNS ON INVESTMENTS, ADVISES AGAINST NUKe BILL

 

Trenton, NJ - The NJ Coalition for Fair Energy today released a third-party economic analysis demonstrating the massive financial success of PSEG’s Salem and Hope Creek nuclear stations (as well as their positive projections for the coming years), and concluding that a proposed subsidy for the plant is fundamentally unwarranted.

The analysis, performed by Energyzt Advisors, LLC (Energyzt) shows that “Hope Creek and Salem have always generated extremely profitable returns for its owners,” whether from the first half of their initial license period where the plants “consistently earned a regulated utility return on equity above 10 percent,” up to the present moment where “lucrative hedges... locked in energy prices of $40 to $50/MWh for nearly all of the output of the plants” have benefited the company. The report also confirms that both plants “have always been profitable and will continue to be so through at least 2021,” thanks to a mixture of variables which includes favorable hedges and market prices.

“There are a number of market changes underway that will ensure higher revenues for Hope Creek and Salem over the mid-and long-term,” the report states. “These market changes include: New Jersey participation in RGGI, the Department of Energy’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) to reward ‘resiliency’ for certain power plants such as nuclear units, [and] PJM’s proposal to revise pricing formation rules in energy markets.” The report adds that “no legislative action is required at this time to support the New Jersey nuclear units.”

“Energyzt’s research is both illuminating and comprehensive, but at bottom conclusive,” said Matt Fossen, spokesperson for the coalition. “In about fifty pages, the study uses extensive data, records, and financial information to show that PSEG’s New Jersey plants have long been profitable, and will remain secure for years to come. No one has ever said that the plants don’t matter, but we do believe that massive ratepayer-assistance should only be awarded only on the basis of a demonstrable need. This study patently disproves PSEG’s scare tactics, and proves once and for all that there is no need to pass a proposal which will cost at least $300 million per year.”

Energyzt’s study was authored by Tanya Bodell, a veteran energy policy expert and the organization's executive director. She recently testified at a joint hearing by the Senate Environment and Energy Committee and the Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee on the question of nuclear subsidies, where she reiterated many of the points made in the study. There she also responded to research done by The Brattle Group which claimed that failing to pass a PSEG subsidy would raise rates and destroy the state’s economy. She offered several rebuttals to these arguments, including the fact that “the study does not account for negative economic impacts of potential out-of-market support, including higher energy costs in the event subsidies are not required to keep the plants operational, and the risk differential between uncertain benefits versus certain costs,” while adding that the research is merely “a summary report. It does not include the detailed backup or description of assumptions required to reproduce the results. Without any basis for ensuring that the results can be tested, the conclusions should not be relied upon.”

“The Brattle Group report is inadequate and incomplete,” Bodell summarized.  “It should not be relied upon to make any decision regarding support for the New Jersey Nuclear Power Plants.”

Swaths of data had already attested to PSEG’s plants’ financial health. Company officials are on the record saying the plants are and will remain through at least 2019, while Ralph Izzo, PSEG’s CEO, has reiterated elsewhere that both plants are undeniably “in the black.” Further evidence shows that the company has earned over $753 million in net income in 2017 alone. As such, the majority of New Jersey residents also disagree with giving a PSEG an energy tax-funded subsidy. One survey showed that “69 percent of voters oppose the state legislature giving a financial subsidy to a nuclear power company that would be in addition to the revenue that company already receives from New Jersey customers.” Another, by the Rutgers Eagleton Center for Public Polling, demonstrated that 75% “are not interested in subsidizing already profitable nuclear power companies.” Several reports have shown that subsidizing the plants will cost New Jersey ratepayers over $300 million per year, equalling a $35 increase on their energy bills at least.

“While we know Trenton is not done with the bill at hand, the truth is this issue should’ve been put to bed long ago,” concluded Fossen. “The debate over PSEG has been intense, yet in recent weeks we’ve seen more and more confirmation that neither the time nor circumstances warrant giving into their demands. This study says as much in plain words, and reminds everyone that we must continue to stop the PSEG energy tax.”

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The report was compiled by Energyzt, a global collaboration of experts in the energy field, using publicly available information gathered from Virginia based Dominion’s quarterly reports and other public sources.  For further information on Ms. Bodell, see: http://www.energyzt.com/bodell.html.

About Tanya Bodell: Tanya Bodell is the Executive Director of Energyzt and oversees advisory services. For nearly 25 years, Ms. Bodell has provided business advice and expert support to energy clients, interacting extensively with executives and senior management of energy companies, and adding value through development of business strategy, expert insights, and transaction support.  Ms. Bodell regularly speaks and writes articles on industry topics as a regular columnist for Pennwell Publications’ Electric Light & Power, offering bi-monthly insights on economic, policy and business dynamics impacting energy markets. She has a M.B.A. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a M.A. in Public Policy from the University of Chicago, and a B.A. in Mathematical Economics from Pomona College.