Alex Matthiessen on Indian Point’s Planned Closure

January 9th, 2017 by Lisa Rainwater

January 9, 2017

Contact: Alex Matthiessen

Cell: 917-617-0013 alex@bluemarbleproject.com


Press Statement by Alex Matthiessen Re. Indian Point’s Planned Closure

This morning, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the Indian Point nuclear power plant, just 33 miles north of Times Square, will be shuttered once and for all in 2021. This is an enormous victory for the approximately 20 million people who live in the New York metropolitan area and what is known as Indian Point’s “Peak Injury Zone,” a Kafkaesque name for the 50-mile radius around the facility that would be ground zero in the event of an accident. It’s also a huge win for the ecological health of the Hudson River where fish and other aquatic species have been slaughtered by the billions for decades by the plant’s intake structures.

I know I speak for my many colleagues in the environmental community, many of whom were part of this latest 16-year campaign to close Indian Point, in thanking Governor Andrew Cuomo for his leadership in getting this deal done.

When Robert F. Kennedy and I launched Riverkeeper’s campaign to close Indian Point in the fall of 2001, Andrew Cuomo was one of the very first public figures (he was in the private sector at the time) to endorse the campaign and he’s been consistent in opposing the plant’s continued operation ever since. As both Attorney General and Governor of New York, he deployed all the necessary resources to ensure that his staff and relevant agencies made a priority of challenging the plant’s relicensing and finding a creative way to work with the plant’s owner, Entergy, to come to an agreement to shut it down.

Paul Gallay and his team at Riverkeeper deserve enormous thanks for a great job keeping the pressure on Entergy at every turn and working with the Governor’s office to help fashion a deal. I also wish to recognize just a few of the Riverkeeper staff who helped build and lead the Indian Point campaign during my tenure as Riverkeeper’s president (2000-2010) and who ensured the issue remained front and center year after year, no mean feat in this age of short attention spans and media bombardment: Lisa Rainwater, Doni Belau , Phillip Musegaas, and Kyle Rabin.

For years, Indian Point has posed a serious public health threat to the 20 million New Yorkers living with 50 miles of it. Building a nuclear plant so close to a major population area was never a good idea and could have life-threatening consequences for individuals. This is a major milestone in protecting the health and safety of these individuals and the natural resources of the Hudson River Valley and ensure they are not at risk. We are grateful to Governor Cuomo for ensuring its closure once and for all.

From Governor Cuomo’s press release: “For 15 years, I have been deeply concerned by the continuing safety violations at Indian Point, especially given its location in the largest and most densely populated metropolitan region in the country,” Governor Cuomo said. “I am proud to have secured this agreement with Entergy to responsibly close the facility 14 years ahead of schedule to protect the safety of all New Yorkers. This administration has been aggressively pursuing and incentivizing the development of clean, reliable energy, and the state is fully prepared to replace the power generated by the plant at a negligible cost to ratepayers.”

Alex Matthiessen

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