Fighting to Save Nuclear Jobs

Thursday, February 1, 2018

There is a bill in the New Jersey Legislature that would help to ensure the continued operation of Salem 1 and 2 and Hope Creek by boosting rates for nuclear-generated electricity. That bill is Senate Bill 877 and it will be considered in committee on February 5. Its fate is uncertain right now.

At the end of December, during what is called the lame duck session, the Legislature held two joint committee hearings on previous versions of the bill. Through two long hearings, the committees heard from many witnesses including Ralph Izzo, PSEG's CEO, and me on behalf of Local 94. All committee members, Democrat and Republican, in both houses voted in favor of a nuclear subsidy.
The Senate bill was sponsored by our good friend, Senate President Steve Sweeney, who represents the district that includes the nuclear plants and who is a union iron worker by trade. The Assembly bill was sponsored by our IBEW union brother, the Chairman of the Assembly Utility Committee, Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo.
Although the Senate bill was posted for a vote, at the last minute, the Assembly Speaker did NOT post the bill in the Assembly. Why? Because our incoming Governor decided he wants a more comprehensive energy bill that includes renewables, solar and off-shore wind incentives in addition to nuclear.
So, on January 25th, we once again were back at the State House ready to testify on S-877, the new bill that Steve Sweeney has sponsored. This time there was a four hour delay in the hearing to add the new language that Governor Murphy wants, making the bill go from 12 pages to 50. No vote was taken, just six hours of testimony. On behalf of Local 94, I testified once again about the importance nuclear and nuclear jobs.
The bill has been moved to the Senate Budget Committee for a vote this Monday, February 5. I will be in Trenton again to urge the committee members to vote in favor, and I will let you know what happens.