New nuclear energy bill, needed funding for enhancements or bailout?

Local News

A pair of nuclear power plants in Pennsylvania are soon set to shut down, with Three Mile Island slated to close this September and Beaver Valley closing in 2021.

Along with those jobs, supporters of the bill say it would save Pennsylvanians billions of dollars. But others are calling it nothing more than a bailout.

Right now, Pennsylvania’s five nuclear power plants account for 16,000 full-time jobs. But, two of those plants are soon slated to close. 

Representative Tom Mehaffie says, “They are good paying jobs that simply can not be recreated once they are gone.”

Which is why on Monday, Mehaffie introduced the ‘Keep Powering Pennsylvania Act,’ adding nuclear energy to the Pennsylvania Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Program, which incentivizes renewable forms of energy like solar and wind.

“Even though Pennsylvania nuclear energy provides 93 percent of the Commonwealth’s zero-carbon electricity, nuclear energy is not permitted to participate in Pennsylvania’s AEPS program.”

The cost of the bill is about $500 million. But, supporters say the cost of doing nothing is $4.6 billion.

Eric Epstein, with the group ‘Three Mile Island Alert,’ says, “The plan that was unveiled today is a fancy way of saying ‘bailout’. And, who will be hurt by this the most are ratepayers and taxpayers.”

Epstein says TMI has been bailed out a number of times already and hasn’t proven to be profitable. 

Representative Mehaffie said if the bill passes, there’s a clause for TMI to remain open for six years.

While Epstein says, “The plant can’t make money; hasn’t made money in five years. It should be replaced by a cleaner, more efficient, profitable technology. That’s the way the marketplace works.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Events Calendar