By now you have heard that the legislation intended to ensure continued operation of Salem I and II and Hope Creek stalled again in Trenton last Monday. The legislation, Senate Bill 877, would recognize the environmental and reliability benefits of nuclear and boost rates to allow fair competition. The bill is sponsored by our good friend, Senate President Steve Sweeney, whose district includes all of Salem County.
Ralph Izzo, PSEG’s CEO, says that without rate relief for nuclear, he will have to retire the plants. I believe him. That’s why Sweeney’s legislation is the number one priority of our local union.
Nuclear is a complicated issue, and nobody likes to see their utility rates go up. That means that this is no easy sell.
I have testified at every hearing in Trenton and already talked to more politicians than I can count, but I am not stopping until we get the legislation through the Senate and the Assembly and get Governor Murphy to sign it.
Our International is with us, and so are the State AFL-CIO and the Building Trades. They will be joining me in sending a message to the politicians about the importance of nuclear.
I may be asking you to help too – to write a letter or to come to Trenton. It’s that serious.
It’s serious enough that PSEG Nuclear and Exelon Generation have cancelled all nonessential capital projects at Salem I and II. PSEG, as the sole owner of Hope Creek, is examining its options for that plant.
But right now, the most important thing you can do is to continue to do your job producing clean, reliable nuclear power.
Your union leadership at Local 94 is doing their job to push this legislation through. Please do not let the debate in Trenton distract you from safety on the job.
We will keep you informed and up to date.