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No money in state budget for FitzPatrick plant

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Despite several attempts to secure financial assistance for the struggling FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant, no funding was included for it in New York state's next budget.

Assemblyman Will Barclay and state Sen. Patty Ritchie have both authored bills that would give Fitzpatrick's owner a $60 million tax credit, but neither were included in the budget, nor was a $100 million financial aid package to help pay for the cost of refueling the plant, which would need to be done this year.

The plant's owner Entergy said even if those proposals were passed, they weren't interested. But, Ritchie said that doesn't mean it would have gone to waste.

"I wanted to make sure that there was no guesswork here for Entergy to reconsider or for another facility to come in and consider taking the plant over." Ritchie said. "That money still would have been something that could entice another buyer to look at."

Still, Barclay said there is still a way to save the plant.

"I wouldn't read too much into this budget in what's going to happen to Fitzpatrick," Barclay said.

There is a possibility of another company purchasing the financially distressed Fitzpatrick. Since announcing the closure of their Fitzpatrick plant last November, Entergy has repeatedly snubbed offers to help make the plant profitable. So, Barclay said officials are now trying to use tax credits as a way to entice another company to buy the plant. 

"Our goal is to find another operator and make it economically viable for them to continue the operation of the plant going forward," Barclay said.

He said his $60 million tax credit could still be passed on its own before the state legislature adjourns in June. And, the New York Public Service Commission (PSC) is also working on an immediate financial aid package, as well as lucrative tax credits for nuclear plants -- both of which the PSC is expected to vote on later this year.

Payne Horning is a reporter and producer, primarily focusing on the city of Oswego and Oswego County. He has a passion for covering local politics and how it impacts the lives of everyday citizens. Originally from Iowa, Horning moved to Muncie, Indiana to study journalism, telecommunications and political science at Ball State University. While there, he worked as a reporter and substitute host at Indiana Public Radio. He also covered the 2015 session of the Indiana General Assembly for the statewide Indiana Public Broadcasting network.