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Monday, November 23, 2015

Ginna Nuclear Ripping Off Customers, But We Can Help Mitigate Their Damage to the People

Ginna Bailout Update

Greetings from Alliance for a Green Economy (AGREE). We are writing with an important update about our fight against the consumer bailout of the Ginna nuclear reactor near Rochester, NY.

We have good news and we have bad news... and we need your help with a final round of comments in the case.

AGREE has been fighting the proposed bailout of the Ginna reactor for almost a year now. We are a scrappy little non-profit going up against huge monied interests who have a lot at stake. Only because of participation from people like you have we been able to make a difference.

When the case began, the utility company (RG&E), the nuclear owners, and the Public Service Commission were ready to rush approval of a 3.5-year subsidy with a possibility of easily extending another year and a half. The initial proposed term, through October 2018, was estimated back in April 2015 to cost RG&E consumers about $175 million. Over time, estimated costs of the bailout have risen, because market rates for electricity keep declining, creating an even larger gap between what Ginna can earn in the market and what it needs to stay open. The last cost estimate we got from RG&E was an estimated $254 million!

The good news is that there is now a proposed settlement in the case that will cut the length of the subsidy down to two years, with no easy extension. If all goes as planned, the subsidy would end in the Spring of 2017. The new agreement will save RG&E customers about $90 million. Additionally, RG&E has caved to demands that it use its hoard of customer credits to pay for a large portion of the bailout, which means that RG&E customers will not see their bills go up as much as originally proposed.

The bad news is that RG&E will get away scot-free under the proposed agreement without having to pay any of its shareholders' money toward the subsidy. Those credits mentioned above represent customer money that RG&E owes back to its rate-payers. The credits used for the bailout will not be available in the future to give back to customers. We have argued all along that RG&E failed to plan properly for the potential retirement of the Ginna reactor and that customers should not have to pay for the utility's bad planning.

The settling parties also did not address what will happen when Ginna closes, and have set up a situation in which Ginna's owners could walk away from their mess for decades before maybe someday cleaning up the reactor. We have been calling for an agreement that would make Ginna's owners begin the decommissioning process right away, in order to best protect the local community and preserve as many jobs at the site as possible.

AGREE's intervention in this case was instrumental in winning the gains that have happened so far, and we participated heavily in the negotiations of this agreement. Over 1,000 people have commented in the case in support of our position, including you. But we still have a ways to go before the deal is truly fair to consumers and good for the environment. Though the agreement represents a real improvement over the original proposal, we have not signed on to support it because we don't think it goes far enough. We are continuing to fight for an even better outcome, and we need your help to win more.

We need you to raise your voice to hold RG&E and Ginna's owners accountable:
  • RG&E's shareholders (not the public) should pay for the subsidy because the company failed to plan properly.
  • Ginna's owners should commit to cleaning up their radioactive mess, not walk away from the site for decades.
The Public Service Commission will decide whether to accept the proposed settlement early next year. The Commission has the power to impose additional terms, including making RG&E pay and making sure a safe and immediate decommissioning plan is in place. We urge you to submit a comment today.

Click here to submit a comment.

Jessica Azulay
Alliance for a Green Economy

P.S. Help us spread the word by using the icons below to share this message.

P.P.S. If you appreciate our work in this case, please consider making a donation so that we can continue to fight for consumers and the environment.


  1. Im sure the good peopke of Rochester and the Upstate Nee York area appreciate the efforts of dedicated workers to provide a carbon free, highly reliable form of electricity. Further, they know that carpet bagging antinukes from California abd warm states have no clue that loss of electricity during harsh winters will result in someones real death, and not some virtual number plugged from a flawed stochastic risk model.

    1. I am sure the "good people" of Rochester really enjoyed being defrauded of $240M bucks in the rate fixing fraud that Ginna was convicted of.

  2. I think the 'carbon free' myth has been so thoroughly debunked that for you to even utter that nonsense here is just more proof in the pudding --> there are no more valid arguments in favor of nuclear power generation. These places (NPPs) are and were always cover/support for weapons production.

  3. If the carbon free myth has been debunked the why did the US government call nuclear a very important piece in the latest summit on reducing carbon in our atmosphere? I think the only ones that think its debunked are antinukes. No commercial power plant fuel in the West has ever been used for weapons fissile material? Where do you get such outlandish information? Having worked in both the commercial sector and as a fed contractor I can say with total confidence what you say is patently a bold face lie. It just isnt true. Once again how can you make such outlandish statements?

    1. You think you can sell that shite here? The US gove said....therefore must be true.

      Sheesh, are you freaking blind, living under a rock.

      Remember Obama spouting "do nothing, no radiation coming" as he jetted off to Brazil with the GE CEO. here is that story.


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