The Future of Clean Energy for New Jersey
Steve Adubato sits down with Ralph LaRossa, President & Chief Operating Officer of PSEG Power, to discuss the importance of nuclear power and the future of clean energy in New Jersey.
"State of Affairs is pleased to welcome Ralph LaRossa, COO and President, PSEG Power. Good to see you Ralph. Good to see you Steve. It's been a while. Yeah it has. Let's put this in context. In just a few minutes we'll talk about the future of energy big picture. But let's talk about what's going on. You guys have three nuclear plants in South Jersey. There's a 300 million dollar state subsidy on the line as it relates to that plant. Those plants. Why is that so relevant to the future of energy in the state? So I gotta take you back a little bit in time. We, as you know, run a number of plants up and down the New Jersey Turnpike. And some other states as well. But as it relates to the state of New Jersey, we, in the past, had two coal plants that were in New Jersey. One in the Trenton area. One up in Jersey City. And those plants were closed two years ago. And we didn't raise any issues, we didn't come to policymakers, we didn't talk at all about the need to keep those plants open. Because they really didn't fit into policy in the state of New Jersey. These three plants, and the reason that they're so important is because... They're nuclear plants? These three nuclear plants in New Jersey are important because they're very consistent with the environmental policy of the state of New Jersey, which is to have zero emissions from the power plants that generate power to feed the residents of New Jersey. That's our policy. That's where we've been heading as a state. And these three plants are so key to that, because they provide over 40 percent of the power that comes into New Jersey, and over 90 percent of the power that has zero emissions to it. So if we lose 90 percent of the power that's zero emissions... Right. ...that's a big impact on the state of New Jersey. But why the state...? And by the way, let me disclose a couple things. One is PSEG is a major underwriter of the work that we do at the Caucus Educational Corporation, and obviously, if you watch NJTV News, they're a major underwriter of the news as well. Here's the thing that's interesting to me. You've got the Ratepayer Advocate and some others who are saying, "PSEG, they don't need a 300 million dollar subsidy! They're flush!" You say? Right. Right. Well what I say is that you don't look at it any one... no company looks at one individual asset and say, "Well, we're gonna keep that asset running." If the Dunkin' Donuts that's down the street here closes, it's because... Right. ...there's not..."