8.29.17: Stop the Millstone Payout Coalition Launches Online Petition Against Massive Corporate Payout

For Immediate Release: August 29, 2017

 

STOP THE MILLSTONE PAYOUT COALITION LAUNCHES ONLINE PETITION AGAINST MASSIVE CORPORATE PAYOUT

Group’s Latest Move Gives Connecticut Ratepayers a Forum for Advocacy Against Rate Increases, Multi-Hundred Million Dollar Handout for Nuke Plant

Hartford, CT -- The Stop the Millstone Payout coalition today launched a new online petition against a costly and unnecessary payout for the Millstone Nuclear Power Plant in Waterford. The petition (posted below) was created in response to reports that Millstone is offering the state up to $125 million in exchange for access to special long-term contracts historically reserved for wind and solar energy producers. Today’s launch also coincides with the original date that Millstone’s owner (Virginia based Fortune 500 firm Dominion Energy) was supposed to supply financial information to the state in compliance with an executive ordered study into the plant’s financial situation.

“The point of this petition is simple: to show policymakers the depth and breadth of opposition to this ratepayer-funded corporate payout,” said Matt Fossen, coalition spokesperson. “All the available data clearly shows that Millstone is currently profitable, will continue to be so in the future, and is obligated to operate through 2022. Given this reality and the mountain of problems facing the state, we applaud Governor Malloy for ordering an official investigation, and encourage consumers to ask why they should have to pay an extra $330 million per year on their utility bills when Millstone won’t open its books and prove it needs the money.”

According to a study by Energyzt, a special deal for Millstone would cost ratepayers $330 million per year, translating to a 15% to 20% increase in supply costs (an extra $90 annually on utility bills). The same data shows that the plant has earned an estimated $3 billion in profits since 2001, made $150 million in after-tax income last year, and is slated to make $400 million in such income over the next five years. A study by MIT furthermore found that Millstone will be the most profitable nuclear plant in the United States through 2019, while a New England States Committee on Electricity report showed that “Under every hypothetical scenario,” New England’s nuclear units, including Millstone, will remain profitable through 2030.

Dominion has expressed disapproval at the governor’s investigation, saying - among other things - that the time for a study “has passed.” Governor Malloy, meanwhile, has expressed his frustration with Dominion’s lack of transparency, stating: "I think Dominion has done a bad job, quite frankly, of having this discussion with the people of Connecticut because they aren't willing to share any information ...We're asked to trust them, when, quite frankly, every national publication or opinion that I've seen about nuclear say that these are two of the most profitable reactors in the country."

“For ratepayers and legislators alike, the fundamental dilemma in the Millstone issue is being asked to reconcile the plant’s demonstrably false claims with the actual facts of the matter,” continued Fossen. “Everyone from consumer advocacy groups to the Governor agrees that the data clearly portrays a profitable company asking for more money without providing any evidence that it needs help. Given that, we must ask ourselves: if the facts were really on Millstone’s side, why would they decline to participate in the investigation at every turn?”

The study into Millstone’s financial situation is mandated under Executive Order #59, which requires the investigation be conjointly done by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA). Both agencies are to report their findings to the state by next February, and recommend whether to give Millstone access to special contracts or not.
 

PETITION:

END CORPORATE WELFARE AND STOP THE MILLSTONE PAYOUT

MASSIVE PAYOUT BEING NEGOTIATED BEHIND CLOSED DOORS

Representatives of the Millstone Nuclear Plant continue to push elected officials for a massive corporate payout behind closed doors.

This is despite the fact that:

  • Millstone is the most profitable nuclear power plant in the United States.

  • Lawmakers in Hartford have rejected special deals for Millstone during the last two legislative sessions.

According to press reports, senior executives at Millstone are offering the state up to $125 million in exchange for a long-term contract that the legislature has previously rejected.
If Millstone is successful in securing this proposed 5-year contract with the state, they will be taking $1.65 BILLION out of Connecticut residents’ pockets.

WHY THE RUSH?

Governor Malloy did the right thing by signing an executive order calling for an independent analysis of Millstone’s financial soundness. But rather than proving it needs help, Millstone has so far refused to provide full and complete information.

The truth is that Millstone is obligated by contract to operate until at least 2022. We can and should give independent experts the time they need to gather information which will ultimately allow policy makers to make an informed decision.  

The real question is this: if the facts are truly on Millstone’s side, why is the plant so afraid of an independent study?

CALL ON LEGISLATORS TO STOP DOMINION

We urge legislators in Hartford to reject any attempt to give Millstone a financial payout through the state’s budget, regardless of any incentives the plant is willing to give to the state in exchange. The democratic process should remain free from this type of external bartering.  

It’s time to put the pressure on Millstone, and stop this expensive and unnecessary payout -- once and for all.

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