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Zack Hutchins
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For Release — Wednesday, February 5, 2003

COUNCIL: INDIAN POINT SAFETY STUDY MUST CONSIDER NEW YORK'S
ENERGY NEEDS; CLOSING THE PLANT WOULD NOT ENHANCE SAFETY

ALBANY—Closing Indian Point Energy Center would have significant negative effects on the state and regional economy because closing the plant would drastically reduce New York's electricity supply, The Business Council has told a consultant evaluating safety issues associated with Indian Point.

"We cannot currently afford the loss of this generating capacity, which supplies the state with over 2,000 megawatts of electricity," Business Council President Daniel B. Walsh wrote in a Feb. 3 letter to James Lee Witt of James Lee Witt Associates.

The letter was written in response to Witt's draft report on safety issues at the plant. The study was commissioned by Governor Pataki to review emergency preparedness in the areas surrounding the Indian Point Energy Center.

Safety concerns associated with Indian Point should be paramount, Walsh wrote.

"We are gratified that Entergy has been making and will continue to make improvements in the plant," Walsh said. "And it should be noted that they have spent millions of dollars on plant security improvements over the last few years."

He added: "Closing the plant, as some opponents have suggested, would not enhance security or address many of the issues raised in the draft."

In a 2002 study, The Public Policy Institute of New York State, The Council's research affiliate, showed that New York faces an acute need for more electricity capacity. The report, The Power to Grow, showed that New York must add at least a dozen new power plants with at least 9,200 megawatts of additional generating capacity within the next five years to avoid the risk of serious economic damage.

Adding this capacity will make possible a number of powerful benefits, including increased growth and a more robust competition that, in the long-term, would help reduce New York's above-average electricity costs. The Power to Grow can be found at www.ppinys.org/reports/2002/powertogrow.pdf.

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