Pa. legislators urge governor, General Assembly to step in and save TMI nuclear plant
- December 5, 2018
- 268 views
Saying nuclear power in
A 44-page report by the
It needs to be done for the sake of the environment and longterm security of an energy supply, the report states.
Specifically, the caucus recommends the state act on a likely upcoming initiative from the
“In my view, the
"The report we released today outlines clearly the devastating consequences that will result from the premature closing of
Preserving nuclear power, which currently produces 42 percent of all electricity in the state, is critical, the report says.
“The Commonwealth must avert further nuclear plant closures or suffer job loss, community disruption and higher electricity prices,” the report says.
The caucus was critical of
Complained Aument, "The current determining factor, the exclusive factor, for whether or not a nuclear plant remains open, is shortterm marginal cost. In other words, we make longterm policy decisions based only on what is cheap today.
"This shortsighted approach ignores the many important benefits each resource brings to the market and other important public policy goals that states may have."
PJM also has said Pennsylvania’s electrical supply is robust enough to withstand closing of nuclear plants and worst-case weather outages with electricity being produced from other power sources.
Exelon, the owner of TMI, has told the public and
Some environmental and consumer groups argue that a decline in nuclear power is healthy.
They maintain there is no reason to prop up more expensive nuclear power as it would cost ratepayers more.
And groups such as the Nuclear Information and Resource Service take issue with the main argument for preserving nuclear power — that it is free of climate-changing greenhouse gases.
The group maintains most nuclear plants will be gone in a matter of decades and longterm reductions in greenhouse gases must come from more sustainable renewable energy sources such as wind and solar.
That has not stopped some legislators from seeking to avert the closing of the two plants before their licenses’ expire.
In addition to pursuing an opportunity to save nuclear plants through a new federal regulation, the report lists two other options
• Extend a Zero Emissions Credit to nuclear plants for their environmental attributes like those afforded to wind and solar. That would make nuclear power more affordable when sold at annual power auctions.
• Establish a state carbon fee that would be a market-based solution valuing nuclear power.
“Currently, damages and associated costs to society caused by carbon pollution are largely not reflected in the price of generating electricity,” the report says.
Exelon officials had no immediate comment on the report.
“This report lays out a series of options for lawmakers grappling with the reality of aging, unprofitable nuclear plants but fails to show the way forward to a true clean energy future. If state leaders decide to provide subsidies to nuclear plants, they must also enact policies to accelerate energy efficiency and solar and wind power, and take critical steps to ensure fairness for consumers, workers and communities.”
Download PDF Nuclear Energy Caucus Reporter