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I would like to express my concern over Gov. Cuomo's plan for the Shoreham Nuclear Power Plant. This is a $5.3 billion plant that is complete and on the verge of being licensed for operation.

The governor wants the legislature to approve a plan that would allow the state to buy the plant for $1. The state would then have to spend additional hundreds of millions to dismantle the plant and replace it with oil-fired generating facilities.

Instead of letting the plant operate and generate needed power in Long Island and tax revenues for the state, the governor would assume a huge liability.

The $5.3 billion has to be paid by someone. The only sources of money for a non-operating plant are the ratepayers of Long Island, LILCO stockholders and the taxpayers of New York. This at a time when the state is facing a $1.9 billion deficit.

Wasting a nuclear plant makes no sense. Many diehard environmentalists are taking a second look at nuclear power as one way to reduce the "greenhouse" effect. Fossil fuels may soon be unacceptable, and solar and renewable sources of energy cannot fill the gap. There is a finite amount of oil on this planet. It is too valuable to be used for power generation.

Oil is a bad choice for other reasons: (1) It is one of the most expensive ways to generate electricity; (2) it is insecure, since a war in the Middle East could cut supplies overnight; (3) its use adds greatly to our balance of payments deficit, and (4) its cost is unpredictable. This past week the oil cartel seemed to be getting its act together again.

I respect a man who acts in accord with his principles -- as long as he pays the price with his own money. I hope our legislators are more in tune with reality than our governor is.


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