TRENTON, N.J.  — New Jersey's electric utilities would be required to purchase credits from nuclear power plants to help rescue the industry under new legislation.

Lawmakers on Friday introduced a bill aimed at helping the state's nuclear power plants.

The state's biggest utility, PSEG, testified before lawmakers that their nuclear power plants are headed toward shuttering within two years if they do not get state help.

The cost of the credits is not clear in the legislation, but environmental groups are criticizing them as a "direct subsidy from the ratepayers."

PSEG did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the bill.

The legislation comes during the Democrat-led Legislature and outgoing Republican Gov. Christie's lame-duck period. Christie has said he'd consider a bill to rescue PSEG's nuclear plants.