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.