A collection of energy companies and trade associations have filed a lawsuit seeking to reverse a decision by the administration of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to subsidize several struggling upstate nuclear plants, arguing that the state overstepped federal authority to regulate energy prices.
The suit, filed Wednesday in Federal District Court in Manhattan, comes a little more than two months after Mr. Cuomo announced a deal to provide hundreds of millions of dollars per year in subsidies to buttress the bottom lines of four upstate plants. The subsidies were included in an order from the Public Service Commission, whose chairwoman, Audrey Zibelman, is named as the lead defendant.
The suit argues that such action oversteps the federal government’s policy of allowing market forces to set wholesale energy prices, and effectively makes New York residents pay billions through higher electrical rates to prop up the plants, several of which would have failed without the governor’s plan, the suit claims.
“Unless enjoined or eliminated, these credits will result in New York’s captive ratepayers paying the owners an estimated $7.6 billion over 12 years,” the suit reads.