GENERATING  INFLUENCE 

Entergy's Political Spending and the Battle over Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant

 

The Indian Point Energy Center is a nuclear power plant in northern Westchester County, which provides roughly 20% of the electrical power used by New York City and its environs. Indian Point is owned by Entergy, a Louisiana based company which also owns the James A. FitzPatrick plant in Oswego, NY. In 2013 and 2015 Entergy's licenses to operate Indian Point's two reactors will expire, which is why it needs approval from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for two more 20 year licenses. 

 

Indian Point has been a source of debate for years, but opposition has increased since the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima power plant in 2011, with longtime critics like Governor Cuomo lining up against re-licensing.

 

Common Cause/NY's report, "Generating Influence: Entergy's Spending and the Battle over the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant" analyzes all aspects of Entergy's efforts to manipulate the debate. Our in depth analysis shows that from 2005 to 2012, Entergy spent over $4.5 million in New York State and $35.6 million in Washington on political contributions and lobbying.

 

In addition to campaign contributions and lobbying, Entergy has employed a sophisticated public relations campaign coordinated by Burson Marsteller. One of Entergy's key strategies is a grassroots "astroturfing" campaign designed to create the appearance of public support. Astroturfing is the act of establishing shill front-group organizations which don't disclose their connection to their corporate sponsor while attempting to exert influence on the sponsor's behalf. In the case of Indian Point, Entergy has established two such organizations, NY AREA and SHARE.

 

While Common Cause/NY takes no position on the re-licensing of Indian Point, we strongly believe that the final decision should be based in objective analysis of the costs and benefits and not unduly shaped by the well-funded lobbying, campaign contributions, and publicity campaigns of Entergy Corporation.

 

Report

 

Generating Influence: Entergy's Political Spending and the Battle over Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant (May 2013)

 

Press

 

Common Cause/NY Press Release: read it here.

 

New York Times: Owner Makes All-Out Push for Indian Point

WNYC: Indian Point Owner Spends Big in Push to Relicense: Report

Journal News: Report: Indian Point owner, 'front groups' pour millions into lobbying

Newsday: Indian Point agenda pushed by Entergy 'front' groups, political money, report charges

Mid-Hudson News: Common Cause finds fault with Entergy’s Indian Point PR effort

WAMC Northeast Public Radio: Good Government Group Questions Entergy's Lobbying Efforts

Amsterdam News: Activists fight against Indian Point Nuclear Power plant's re-licensing

 

Powerpoint Slideshow