County Executive Rob Astorino is attempting to file a lawsuit against the state of New York over the planned shutdown of the Indian Point nuclear power plant.
At first glance, this may look like a gesture of support for the many individuals whose jobs, taxes and economic well being are impacted by the closing of the plant. However, a lawsuit takes money and resources that would be better utilized by working with local and state task forces to figure out how to reduce the economic and environmental impact of this closing on Westchester County. A lawsuit diverts energy that could be spent more effectively to work to develop funds to offset the loss of revenue facing the communities surrounding Indian Point. A lawsuit to slow down the plant’s closing is to deny the reality that the closing is because Entergy has said Indian Point is no longer economically viable. Rather than a lawsuit, Astorino would be better serving his constituents by helping to develop a comprehensive exit plan for those affected and by working to bring in businesses that will increase jobs and revenue for the County.
Astorino claims he is filing this lawsuit because a full environmental review was not done before an agreement to close the plant. This claim is ironic for two reasons. First, Astorino himself has tried to push through deals without full review as evidenced by his attempt last year to broker a deal to privatize the Westchester County airport with Oaktree Management without accepting other bids or having a public hearing. Secondly, Astorino has been perfectly content to let Indian Point operate in Westchester for many years with expired licenses and multiple safety violations, making his alleged concern about a lack of environmental review disingenuous to say the least.
I believe that Astorino is not filing this lawsuit to help the citizens of Westchester County but to engage in political grandstanding to help define himself against his gubernatorial rival Andrew Cuomo. Westchester County deserves better political leadership than this.
Bettina Mayer, Member of Croton in Action
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