(Adds Exelon statement, paragraph 9)
Oct 19 An energy industry coalition including
competitive non-nuclear electricity producers sued on Wednesday
to oppose a plan to subsidize nuclear power plants in New York
The lawsuit in federal court said the New York Public
Service Commission's (PSC) plan to raise electric rates across
the state by requiring consumers to pay for zero emission
credits (ZECs), infringes illegally into federal regulators'
The coalition said in a statement that the litigation was
"solely to save several New York nuclear plants that, allegedly,
can no longer compete successfully in the federally-regulated
wholesale electric power market."
The subsidies were part of an effort to keep the nuclear
reactors, which produce almost no emissions, operating at a time
of low prices for power and natural gas, an alternative
"The frivolous lawsuit is right out of fossil fuel
industry's play book to deny and thwart actions to combat
climate change," New York PSC Chairwoman Audrey Zibelman said in
She noted that the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld
the rights of states to protect their environment for the
welfare of citizens.
The owners of the state's nuclear reactors include units of
Exelon Corp and Entergy Corp.
Exelon in August agreed to buy Entergy's FitzPatrick reactor
in New York, which Entergy said it would retire in 2017, after
the state adopted the Clean Energy Standard (CES) to help the
state's nuclear reactors.
Exelon said in a statement that despite the lawsuit, New
York PSC's work to finalize the CES "and our work to complete
the FitzPatrick transaction continues notwithstanding attempts
to stop it."
Coalition members opposed to the nuclear subsidies include
units of Dynegy Inc and NRG Energy Inc.
(Reporting by Harshith Aranya and Nithin Prasad in Bengaluru
and Scott DiSavino in New York; editing by Grant McCool)