State lawmakers must do a thorough analysis of the economic impact for whatever alternatives they propose to the energy generated by existing nuclear power plants, NJBIA Vice President Sara Bluhm said today.

She testified at a joint hearing of the Senate Environment and Energy Committee and the Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee on what to do with New Jersey’s four aging nuclear power plants. One, Oyster Creek, is already slated to close in 2019.

In looking at ways to replace the electricity generated by these plants, Bluhm said any legislation “must clearly articulate the economic scenario significant enough to trigger the need for the state to step in with subsidies in order to ensure energy resiliency. Any such solution must be temporary in nature and expire at the time a regional or national policy is put in place and after an established time period.”

Questions about energy infrastructure and the cost of electricity are significant factors in New Jersey’s competitiveness. Business consumes 64 percent of New Jersey’s electricity and represents 68 percent of the customer base. At the same time, PJM is estimating a 2 to 5 percent price increase for retail sales.

“How does that impact the competitiveness of business in New Jersey versus other states?” Bluhm asked. “What will be the overall impact on New Jersey’s economy given any one alternative over another?”

“If New Jersey were to implement a policy, there needs to be consideration on ways to help alleviate increased costs to ratepayers,” she said.

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