With new group, Pennsylvania nuclear critics look to 'get ahead' of subsidy proposal
A group of Pennsylvania electric power stakeholders has formed a coalition opposed to the bailout of the state’s nuclear power plants.
The coalition, Citizens Against Nuclear Bailouts, was formed even though there is no legislation currently circulating in the state legislature that would provide some form of subsidy for nuclear plants in Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania lawmakers in mid-March formed what they say is the first state legislative caucus to focus nuclear energy issues in the U.S. The group is reportedly in the early stages of policy discussions and does not yet have legislation written.
Zero emission credits (ZECs) or similar measures aimed at shoring up nuclear power plants at risk of retirement are spreading over state lines.
As one opponent said, “subsidies are contagious.” Stakeholders in Pennsylvania, home to five nuclear plants, apparently want to inoculate themselves.
“There is no specific legislation circulating” in the state, said Steve Kratz, a spokesman for the coalition. But the members of the group, including citizens’ groups, power generators and business and manufacturing associations, “anticipate” the legislature will come up with a bill, and they “want to get ahead of the issue,” Kratz said.
While there is no bill, Sens. Ryan Aument (R) and John Yudichak (D) along with Reps. Becky Corbin (R) and Rob Matzie (D) on March 16 formed a caucus to focus on nuclear energy issues.
“This caucus will give members of the General Assembly an opportunity to become more educated about nuclear energy’s economic and environmental value and provide another voice in other important discussions, including electric power reliability, affordability and safety,” Aument said in a statement.
The caucus now has 73 members in the state legislture, but the Post-Gazette reports they are still exploring issues and "have not yet decided on strategy."
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