After a decade of dealing with the state, Indian Point Nuclear Plant has agreed to a four-year plan to shut down. That has state legislators fretting over local impact.
"Eleven hundred jobs. Eleven hundred jobs that we're worried about," said State Senator Terrence Murphy (R - Yorktown).
For four hours Tuesday, state legislators peppered the governor's energy officials on why and how the 55-year-old Indian Point would close.
"There is no immediate impact; we have several years in which to plan," said Richard Kauffman, the state chairman of energy and finance.
Kauffman explained that New York is forming a task force to identify issues related to the closure, and to aid the state in moving towards renewable energy. But New Yorkers will be picking up the bill.
"The Nuclear Energy Institute calculated that residential consumers could experience a $76 to $112 increase per month," Murphy said.
"Without a real knowledge of what's going on in the market ... you know, it's just an assumption," said state Public Service Commission Chairwoman Audrey Zibelman.
Zibelman dismissed any early predictions; she says the state has four years to plan for problems, including resettling Indian Point's workers and finding them new jobs. Zibelman also confirmed Tuesday that New York will consider buying Canadian hydroelectricity while the state develops its own green-friendly power.
"We're really pushing energy efficiency, clean energy and other resources," Zibelman said.
Indian Point's ownership company, Entergy, showed up for Tuesday's hearing, insisting that economic conditions are forcing its closure ... and not state pressure from above.
"We concluded that this plant was not economically viable," said Entergy VP for External Affairs T. Michael Twomey. "It wasn't the only reason, but it was certainly the overwhelming reason with current market conditions."
When Indian Point closes, state officials confirmed Tuesday that Entergy will be responsible for decommissioning the nuclear plant and storing nuclear waste on-site.