|PSEG nuclear generating plant in Salem County, NJ.|
Revamped legislation includes some modest clean-energy programs, but locks Division of Rate Counsel out of decision
if subsidy is needed
Tom Johnson reports for NJ Spotlight:
A Bill to provide subsidies to New Jersey's nuclear power plants appeared to get back on legislative track yesterday with the addition of some modest clean-energy initiatives, the latest maneuver aimed at bolstering its prospects.
In a marathon day for legislation that has endured its share of rocky moments over the past several weeks, a revamped bill (S-877) was unveiled to a roomful of lobbyists, energy executives, labor officials, and environmentalists nearly three-and-a-half hours after a Committee hearing on it had been scheduled.
Last minute revisions, accomplished privately elsewhere, accounted for the delay.
When finished, a three-hour hearing before the Senate Environment and Energy Committee followed, as opponents tried to articulate concerns about the measure, having received the 50-page bill minutes before the hearing begun.
Senate Speaker Steve Sweeney
Business as unusual
Recognizing the unusual circumstances surrounding its
release, Sen. Bob Smith, the Democratic chairman of the committee, announced lawmakers would not vote on the
bill, but instead have it referred to the Senate Budget
Committee for a vote on February 5.
"This is not how we normally do things,'' said Senate President Stephen Sweeney, the bill's sponsor in what perhaps was the understatement of the day. "Nuclear is extremely important.''
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