About 30 miles north of Manhattan, the Indian Point Energy Center looms over the banks of the Hudson. It produces 11 percent of the electricity consumed in New York state and a quarter of the power used in the New York City area. And that power is completely free of the carbon-dioxide emissions associated with fossil fuels.
But by early 2021, Indian Point will fall silent, the victim of environmental opposition, shaky economics and a governor who said closing the plant was his personal mission. Supporters of the shutdown said that the plant’s power could easily be replaced by conservation and renewable sources such as wind and solar.
That was wishful thinking. In reality, Indian Point’s power will be replaced mostly by electricity made from natural gas. Which means that, despite Gov. Cuomo’s ambitious plans to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, our region’s emissions are about to go up.
The scenario facing New York — nuclear plants closing as officials make rosy promises about renewable energy — has been playing out around the US, and around the world, in recent years.
Photo by Mario Tama / Getty Images