NJ Politics Digest: Why NJ Could Be Subsidizing Out-of-State Electric Customers

New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney

New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney. Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Now that a controversial bill forcing New Jersey ratepayers to provide a $300 million subsidy to nuclear power plants seems like a done deal, the chairman of the energy company that stands to benefit from the plan says the money could help benefit out-of-state power plants and their out-of-state customers, according to a report in NJSpotlight.

The bill was pushed through the legislature by Senate President Steve Sweeney, whose districts hosts plants that Public Service Enterprise Group threatened to close unless it received the state bailout. Gov. Phil Murphy has yet to sign the measure, which is opposed by the state ratepayer’s advocate and environmental groups, but he is expected to do so.

In an earnings call on Monday, PSEG CEO and President Ralph Izzo acknowledged that the state’s money could go to out of state nuclear facilities, such as Peach Bottom in Pennsylvania, a unit half-owned by PSEG, as well as other nuclear plants in the state, Limerick and Susquehanna, according to the NJSpotlight report. The bill would have New Jersey households paying about $40 more per year, with local businesses paying even more.

Critics of the legislation have pointed out that PSEG never proved its plants were not profitable. The measure largely keeps the state’s Ratepayer Advocate out of deliberations involving if the subsidy should be granted. They also questioned why New Jersey customers ought to subsidize power going to out-of-state customers, according to the NJSpotlight report.

But Sweeney is concerned that shutting the plants could lead to job losses in his district.

Quote of the Day: “I don’t want him coming here with a bunch of lies. I need to know the truth, so that we can bend the truth.” – Hamilton Teachers Education Association president David Perry, in a video posted by Project Veritas.

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NJ Politics Digest: Why NJ Could Be Subsidizing Out-of-State Electric Customers