A recently-released report from the state legislature’s Nuclear Energy Caucus details possible policy solutions that could reduce the risk of premature closure of nuclear power plants in the state. A coalition that works to educate Pennsylvanians about the economic and environmental benefits of nuclear energy and the industry’s positive impact on local communities applauded the report. The Columbia Montour Chamber is a member of the Nuclear Powers Pennsylvania coalition.
NPP thanked Caucus leadership, including Co-Chairs, Senators Ryan Aument and John Yudichak, and Representatives Becky Corbin and Rob Matzie. In total, nearly 80 lawmakers, Republicans and Democrats alike, from both the House and Senate, are members of the Nuclear Energy Caucus.
“This bipartisan Nuclear Energy Caucus is the first such caucus anywhere in the United States – and the release of this report is a critical step forward for the 16,000 men and women whose livelihoods rely on Pennsylvania’s nuclear industry,” said Martin Williams, NPP Co-Chair and Business Manager of Boilermakers Local 13 in Philadelphia. “The members of my union and of this coalition would like to see our state government properly recognize the clean-air attributes of nuclear energy and level the playing field with other clean technologies, like wind and solar. By creating this report and now sharing it with their colleagues in the state House and Senate, along with Gov. Wolf, it is our hope it will set us on a path toward identifying solutions that will protect thousands of good-paying jobs and keep the air we breathe clean.”
“Over the course of the five hearings held by the Caucus, members heard from witnesses who detailed the economic and environmental benefits of nuclear energy and the industry’s positive impact on local communities throughout the Keystone State,” said Fred Gaffney, Chamber President. “We know that nuclear power is an important part of Pennsylvania’s energy mix. We encourage all lawmakers to read the Caucus report and to recognize the tremendous value of nuclear energy across the state.”
Pennsylvania today ranks second in the nation for nuclear power generating capacity. Nuclear energy is the single greatest contributor to Pennsylvania’s energy generation portfolio, representing 42% of the mix, while accounting for more than 90% of the Commonwealth’s clean power. However, that production is threatened with news that at least two of Pennsylvania’s five nuclear plants are preparing for premature closure without a legislative remedy. Three Mile Island in Dauphin County and Beaver Valley in Beaver County are slated for closure in 2019 and 2021, respectively. According to an April 2018 report from The Brattle Group, should those two plants close, along with two nuclear plants slated for closure in Ohio, it would reverse environmental benefits equal to 25 years of wind and solar development.
The report is available online.