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Plan To Bail Out Aging Nuclear Power Plants Fuels Frustrations For Long Islanders

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- All New Yorkers are set to pay to keep three upstate nuclear power plants online.

As CBS2's Jennifer McLogan reports, the plan is fueling frustrations for folks on Long Island. One particular group of residents has a message for Albany; scrap the governor's clean energy plan to bail out the three aging plants.

Cuomo says closing them would boost electrical rates for everyone in the state. State subsidies will cost ratepayers up to $7.6 billion over 12 years

"500 million of it will be paid by Long Islanders," Blair Horner from the New York Public Interest Research Group says. "Long Islanders who have faced a double whammy."

The double whammy is a result of the never-opened nuclear reactor at Shoreham.

Some ratepayers complain the plan is particularly unfair to Nassau and Suffolk residents, the only New Yorkers still paying for the Shoreham nuclear plant shuttered in 1989.

Long Islanders are collectively paying off Shoreham's $1.1 billion debt until the year 2033. Now, the state's "Clean Energy Standard" means another surcharge of two dollars per month added to all utility bills -- surcharges to energy guzzlers like the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, local governments, and hospitals will be in the millions of dollars.

"Larger facilities like schools, churches, businesses, their rates are going up and they are just going to pass it right onto us," Suffolk homeowner Gail Payne said.

"For schools it is an additional, about ten dollars per student per year," Westbury Schools Assistant Superintendent Charles Bevington said.

That's why one Wyandanch Pastor's Church uses solar power, and now he wants wind power.

"There is no single solution to create the energy we need," Father William Brosotti from Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal says.

The governor's ultimate goal is to have 50 percent of the state's energy to be renewable the year 2030, preventing greater reliance on fossil fuels.

Some can't help but wonder if that isn't possible without further hiking electrical bills.

On Wednesday, protesters appealed to state lawmakers to put a one year moratorium on the nuclear bailout plan until a better solution is reached.

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