A coalition of groups including the New York Public Interest Research Group and Food & Water Watch announced Wednesday the launch of a campaign aimed at blocking a planned surcharge on utility bills that was a key component of the state’s new Clean Energy Standard regulations.

Included in the campaign is the launch of a new website aimed at opposing the fee, which advocates are dubbing the “Cuomo tax.”

The Clean Energy Standard was part of an effort by state regulators to shift the state’s reliance from fossil fuels to renewable energy over the next several decades.

But included in the regulations is a surcharge on utility bills advocates say is aimed at propping up the state’s nuclear power plants, including the James FitzPatrick facility in central New York, which was in danger of closing earlier this year until a new buyer was found.

“Governor Cuomo’s tax on New Yorkers’ utility rates to bail out aging nuclear power plants is the wrong way to go. It’s like subsidizing the horse-and-buggy industry while Henry Ford is rolling cars off the assembly line,” said Blair Horner, Executive Director of the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG).

“Communities across the state will see their electric bills go up by billions of dollars to keep a dying, and unsafe, industry operating. Con Ed residential ratepayers will pay over $700 million more, Long Islanders over $500 million, and the rest of the state over $1 billion more as a result of the Cuomo Tax. It’s an unfair and unnecessary tax. The governor should pull the plug on this wrongheaded plan.”

On the environmental end, Food & Water Watch knocked the state subsidization of nuclear power, saying the money should be going toward further investment in clean energy.

“We’re proud to launch this statewide grassroots campaign against Governor Cuomo’s bailout of the nuclear industry. We challenge the Governor to fulfill his claim to be a progressive leader by abandoning a bailout of these dangerous power plants. Instead of taxing cash-strapped New Yorkers to bail out nuclear power, Cuomo should lead the clean energy revolution that we need. Governor Cuomo should reject the dirty, dangerous fuels of the past and lead a transition to a clean, renewable energy future,” said Eric Weltman, Senior Organizer, Food & Water Watch.