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U.S. Rep. Runyan Continues To Fight For Oyster Creek Replacement

Inclusion of Lacey Township in the state's Energy Master Plan was the first step in a long process, Runyan said

Congressman Jon Runyan and Lacey Committeeman David Most continue to work toward .

“The first thing I heard when they were talking about taking [the plant] offline was the impact to the community. Whether it’s jobs, whether it’s taxes, all that kind of stuff has a major impact to the community,” Runyan said.

; the township currently receives more than $11 million in energy tax receipts from the state, which is a major source of revenue, Lacey Mayor Gary Quinn said.

Runyan has visited Oyster Creek several times, including with Lacey Deputy Mayor Mark Dykoff when he was first campaigning, he said.

“You always wonder 'well what’s going to happen when something like that is closed.' It’s a huge job creator,” he said.

“But also, there’s a demand for energy. No matter where we get it from,” Runyan said. The infrastructure is already there. Is it something that you’re just going to scrap and throw away? It’s obviously something that we have to look at and try to make a plan moving forward.”

Runyan has reached out to Gov. Chris Christie and has had meetings with Commissioner Bob Martin of the Department of Environmental Protection.

“We just got the wheels turning. Got it on the map. Again, it’s just a first step. There’s a lot that we have to work on between now and getting something to happen. I think we got our foot in the door before they slammed it on us,” Runyan said.

When the  was released in June, the document noted reasons to consider a new plant in Lacey Township:

There are a number of good reasons to locate a new plant on the Lacey Township property, including the presence of a highly skilled workforce, community support for such an initiative, and the existing electrical transmission infrastructure.

“It was no small task to get where we’re at but through constant communication and working together and really looking out for the residents of Lacey and of the state of NJ in general, that’s what we’re here to do. We’re here battling for you and we’re going to do the best we can to turn this around,” he said.

Runyan attended the  where Most commended his efforts and achievements in getting Lacey included in the state’s Energy Master Plan.

“Moving forward, talking to the Board of Public Utilities, they say that is a very attractive site in the back of Oyster Creek to build another facility. So they’re really looking at it,” Most said.

But Lacey’s mention in the Energy Master Plan was more of an encouragement to replace the station’s generation, not the plant, BPUspokesperson Greg Reinhart said before a state hearing on the plan.

It costs more than $100 billion to build a new plant so it only makes sense that a new generation facility should be built on the site of Oyster Creek, where the infrastructure already stands, Most said.

“It puts me over the moon that we got in the EMP because it was the first step to a long process,” he said.

Most hopes that there could be a bumpless transfer come Oyster Creek’s closure in 2019 to minimize the impact on the township, he said.

Dykoff flashed back to when they met at Oyster Creek during Runyan’s campaign.

“I commend you for practicing what you preach. You said you wouldn’t forget about Lacey Township and Ocean County and you proved that,” he said.

“You look at our town seal and you see nuclear power, it’s part of us. And we hope it’s a part that will last for a long time. And thanks to Committeeman Most and your efforts, it might come through,” Dykoff said.

Sal Sorce August 31, 2011 at 10:54 PM
The oldest Nuclear Power plant in the country. It is an example of the worst planning, succession planning is the most elementary factor for any business, let alone something as important as an old out of technology plant. The Freshman Congressman has no power to change anything, this is a show and tell example of how Republicans who have owned and operated Ocean County for over 50-years, they have no one to blame as this and the Barnegat Bay fiasco- death has been under their watch. FACT. The plant has been bled of it's value, the loss of jobs should be the least of their worries?
bob September 01, 2011 at 03:37 AM
At the time it was a good location and still is , would you like to have one to the west of here so if there was a event and a release happened it could cover most of central jersey ? or where it is and drift out to sea where there is no people , If this were a coal plant we would be complaining of air quaility ,after 40 years of service the only waste takes up 20,000 sq ft of space . If they relocated the plant to another state we would have to pay higher electric prices just for transmission cost , the farther you have to send it the more it costs do you really want to streach a line from ohio to jersey? by the time it got here you you wouldn't have enough power to light a bulb , when that plant was built it was over kill , all old technology as we advanced we got lighter on materal and lighter is only good for speed
TopDown September 01, 2011 at 05:51 AM
And what will be the cost when there is a major accident in the most densely populated state in the country? Maybe due to a title wave like what happened in Japan. The more progressive countries in the world have a moratorium on nukes in place for the near future. We should too but we are too worried about money. Hopfuly the day will never come in Ocean County when we mourn the death of our loved ones because we put money in front of safety.
BeyondReality September 01, 2011 at 09:10 PM
We should have a nuke plant in every state that it is safe and feasible. The closing of the power plant is a major hit to lacey's economy and job market. With the tuff times on us and unemployment so low, nuke plants would be a huge boost to the economy. The US has fallen dramatically behind in the energy race why countries like China are flourishing with energy because of their investment in nuclear energy. It is foolishness like complaining about the "what-ifs" that have left this country falling more and more behind other countries in the world market. The only "what-if" we should be considering is the what if this country continues to decline and we no longer are considered the "Land of Prosperity".

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