2.22.18: Statement On S. 877

For Immediate Release: February 22, 2018



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.