State Sen. Terrence Murphy, just one of many elected officials who said they felt blindsided by Indian Point’s planned closure, said Monday that he may probe the deal between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the nuclear power plant’s operators, Entergy, according to a report by politico.com.
An investigation will be launched, he told politico.com, if he can’t get answers to questions about lost revenues and jobs, and about the safety of the Buchanan facility after it’s shuttered.
Murphy is a small business owners who represents the 40th District, an area that includes the power plant.
As chairman of the Senate’s Investigations and Government Operations Committee, the Republican can issue subpoenas, the politico.com report said.
According to politico.com, Murphy was part of a meeting between lawmakers and administration officials also attended by Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, chair of the chamber’s Energy Committee, and Assemblywoman Sandy Galef, who also represents the area around Indian Point.
Among the items discussed were a task force to address concerns surrounding the closing, politico.com’s story said.
Cuomo, who lives in Westchester, has called the aging nuclear facility a “ticking time bomb” that he has labored for 15 years to shut down.
Cuomo startled everyone from local officials to environmental groups earlier this month when he announced the closure, from 2020 to 2021, 13 and 14 years earlier, respectively, than required under the anticipated federal re-licensing terms.
The Jan. 9 announcement spurred a flurry of public forums and statements from local governments worried about tax and job losses, the impact on businesses, safety and security and where they’re going to get their electricity from.
New York, Cuomo promised, is “fully prepared to replace the power generated by the plant at a negligible cost to taxpayers.”
Indian Point sits by the Hudson River just south of Peekskill and about 36 miles north of Manhattan. More than 17 million people reportedly live within 50 miles of the plant.
Its safety has been called into question numerous times, and both Unit 2 and 3 have been closed at various times for repairs and maintenance, according to media reports. However, its record of operations – 99 percent over the last two years as compared to a national average of 91 percent – is on the plus side.
According to a company statement made after Cuomo’s announcement, Entergy spokesman Jerry Nappi said Indian Point has been operating for more than four decades “with clean, safe, and reliable electricity.”
The early shutdown, Nappi said, is part of a settlement under which the state agreed to drop legal challenges and support renewal of the plant’s operating licenses.
Closing Indian Point, Nappi said, “will complete Entergy’s exit from its merchant power business because of sustained low wholesale energy prices.”
Entergy chairman and CEO Leo Denault said the company was “committed” to treating its employees fairly and would help anyone who’s interested in finding other jobs “within the Entergy system.”