Campaigns & Cases > Stop Polluters > Powering Past Indian Point

Powering Past Indian Point

The Hudson has long endured the damage from power plants and dirty fossil fuels. Now comes the nation’s most aggressive climate legislation and the shutdown of the Indian Point nuclear plant. New York is moving beyond Indian Point and its energy landscape is about to be transformed.

There’s good news regarding replacement energy for Indian Point’s 2,060 megawatts once it goes offline next year. The New York Independent System Operator — which coordinates the distribution of our electricity supply — says that New York will have enough replacement power to supplant the aging, problematic nuclear plant’s output once it closes, and it can be done with combinations of clean energy sources, transmission improvements and energy efficiency.

NYISO’s forecasts for subsequent years show even greater promise because increasing clean energy initiatives continue to be the foundation of New York’s efforts to combat climate change. In 2019, Governor Cuomo announced the procurement of 1,750 MW of offshore wind to add to the energy mix, while approved 1,250 MW of transmission improvements that will allow wind and other renewables to get from upstate to downstate more easily by relieving two major bottlenecks. Additionally, battery storage can increasingly replace power plants that operate only during peak usage.

In Albany, Riverkeeper joined a full-court press by environmental and environmental justice groups to convince state lawmakers to pass landmark legislation to combat climate change. The Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, signed into law by Governor Cuomo, establishes aggressive mandates to ensure a 40 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and an 85 percent reduction — with 100 percent carbon neutrality — by 2050. It also codifies Governor Cuomo’s goals to achieve 70 percent low-carbon electricity by 2030 and 100 percent low-carbon electricity by 2040. The 2050 mandate stands as the most comprehensive and aggressive climate bill ever enacted at the state level.

The CLCPA also begins to address fairness and equity for environmental justice communities — those at the greatest risk from potential climate change-related impacts. While the law could have gone further to ensure economic justice for those front-line communities, it does require a proportion of state energy and climate investments to be made in these communities and it attaches fair labor standards — including prevailing wage standards — to all green projects receiving state funding.

Not only will this law drive unprecedented climate action here in New York, it can also inspire similar action around the country. It’s what real leadership on climate change looks like.

Support the Indian Point Campaign:

  • Closing Indian Point

  • How will the lights stay on when Indian Point Closes?

  • Relicensing Battle

  • Radioactive Waste and Pollution

  • Security and Safety

  • Myths of Nuclear Energy

  • A Future Without Indian Point

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