By Ricardo C. Byrd
The Indian Point nuclear power plant, located in Westchester, provides 25 percent of the power used in New York City and Westchester every day. Not only does Indian Point provide this power to the region that never sleeps, the power is clean, reliable and affordable. And it is guided by 1,000 men and women driven by safety and transparent operations.
For today and the future, the plant is needed more than ever. Here’s why:
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· Asthma and other respiratory illnesses continue to plague urban communities, especially the underserved, due in part to carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. Indian Point is virtually emission-free.
· According to the New York Independent System Operator, the independent group charged with keeping the lights on, Indian Point is vital in ensuring a reliable electricity supply and preventing blackouts.
To his credit, Governor Andrew Cuomo has long been an advocate for reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and combating climate change by promoting clean, renewable electric generation, such as wind and solar. However, progress has been slow due largely to costs and a still-uncertain regulatory environment.
The State unfortunately is trying to shut down Indian Point, New York City’s largest source of clean power. According to New York State’s own data, Indian Point produces 40% of the State’s zero-emission electricity while avoiding over 10 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
Nuclear power electric generation, especially from Indian Point with its huge NYC area electrical output, is key to holding down emissions for cleaner air and maintaining affordable prices for municipal, business and residential use.
We need Indian Point as a bridge to that day when renewables and other technologies can take on the responsibility of ensuring a clean, reliable, affordable and safe supply of electricity.
Ricardo C. Byrd, Executive Director, National Association of Neighborhoods
Editor’s Note: The comments in posted Op-Ed’s are not necessarily the views of Harlem World Magazine and it’s staff.