Friday’s New York Times report that a deal has been struck between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Entergy to completely shut down Indian Point Energy Center by 2021 has local officials up in arms, including Peekskill Mayor Frank Catalina.
“I agree with Rob Astorino that it would be a total disaster for this area if Indian Point was shut down completely,” Catalina said. “I have heard nothing officially and pray this is not true. One would hope the governor has a contingency plan for this area to replace Entergy, but I doubt it.”
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Catalina is referring to Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino’s remarks at a Friday afternoon press conference, during which he said a shutdown of the Buchanan nuclear plant would have a catastrophic effect on the region in terms of jobs, property taxes and electric rates.
When asked about the New York Times report, which has not been confirmed by Cuomo’s office, Entergy Spokesman Jerry Nappi as tight lipped.
“Sorry, I cannot comment,” Nappi said Saturday morning.
Cuomo has generally been supportive of nuclear energy, but has repeatedly said that Indian Point poses a threat due to its proximity to New York City. According to Entergy, the company that owns and operates Indian Point, the plant provides 25 percent of the electric power used in Westchester and New York City, while employing over 1,000 people.
Peekskill Councilwoman Kathie Talbot said she and her fellow Democrats on the Peekskill Common Council were waiting for more information to be made public before commenting on the matter.
Gateway Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Deb Milone and State Sen. Terrence Murphy took a similar approach.
“We, like many supporters of Indian Point, are following the media reports about the plant’s future but until there is an official announcement it would be inappropriate for the chamber to comment at this time,” Milone said. “We are continuing to follow the story.”
As for Murphy, he said the following:
“Like many of my colleagues on the local, county and state level, I was very surprised by today’s news,” Murphy said yesterday. “At this point we are still trying to obtain more information, but most troubling is the lack of transparent planning for the proposed shut down of the plant. Having spoken with several local officials, our focus must be ensuring the well-being of those most directly affected. If these reports are in fact true, I can assure you, we are going to work in a bipartisan way to make sure the people who live and work here are taken care of.”
About Indian Point
Indian Point Energy Center has a generating capacity of more than 2,000 megawatts of clean electricity, or approximately 25 percent of the electric power used in New York City and Westchester. Indian Point safely and reliably provides enough power to light about 2 million homes, thousands of businesses, and hundreds of critical transportation, health and municipal systems. It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week all year, except in the case of repairs and maintenance.
Indian Point supplies electricity to homes, businesses, municipalities, hospitals and other critical regional infrastructures. The power is distributed to the Con Edison system, which serves more than 3 million customers in the five boroughs of New York City and Westchester County. At full power, the plants generate enough electricity to supply power to approximately 2 million homes.
Indian Point employs approximately 1,000 highly skilled, highly trained men and women, and approximately 150 contractors. The economic impact to the surrounding community, through payroll and charitable contributions, exceeds $240 million every year.