The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

New Jerseyans Right to Reject Nuclear Subsidies

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted September 19, 2017

Looking at the benefits of increased use of natural gas in a state such as New Jersey – lower consumer costs, jobs, environmental progress – it makes no sense to risk what works for New Jerseyans by handing state subsidies to nuclear plants. New Jersey voters agree: A strong, bipartisan majority opposes the idea in a new poll.

New Jersey Petroleum Council Executive Director Jim Benton discussed the issue with reporters during a conference call:

“Picking winners and losers in the electricity markets by providing subsidies to nuclear plants, or any energy facility, at the expense of consumers would diminish the benefits that clean natural gas has brought to our state. Also, providing a financial subsidy to nuclear plants with government intervention sets a dangerous precedent and would deny consumers, workers and the environment the benefits of reliable and affordable natural gas.”

Details from the New Jersey poll:

  • 69 percent – Oppose the state legislature giving a financial subsidy to a nuclear power company that would be in addition to revenue the company already receives from customers in the state. The opposition is bipartisan: 66 percent of Democrats, 75 percent of Republicans and 72 percent of Independents.
  • 74 percent – Agree New Jersey’s electricity market should be based on the marketplace itself, not on particular power generators the government might choose to subsidize.
  • 62 percent – Believe customers get a lower price if electricity generators compete to provide electricity rather than the state government choosing the types of generators that can provide electricity.

The poll results in New Jersey are similar to those in other states where the nuclear plant subsidy issue has come up – Pennsylvania, Ohio and Connecticut.

Natural gas’ benefits are the backdrop to the nuclear plant subsidy discussion in New Jersey, highlighted in the new video below:

Again, that’s more than 79,000 jobs, serving 2.73 million residential customers, according to a recent ICF study. Nationally, growing natural gas use is the primary reason U.S. carbon dioxide emissions from electricity generation are at their lowest levels in nearly three decades. Benton:

“Moving forward, the legislature should reject any measure that would subsidize nuclear plants or any other energy facility at the expense of New Jersey’s consumers, workers, and environment.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Mark also was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela live in Occoquan, Va., where they enjoy their four grandchildren.