Updating Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Will Protect State’s Valued Nuclear Fleet
HARRISBURG, PA – Leaders of Nuclear Powers Pennsylvania today praised a new effort in the state legislature that seeks to reform an existing state law to recognize the contributions the state’s nuclear industry makes throughout the Commonwealth. As detailed in new co-sponsor memos released today by State Senators Ryan Aument, Lisa Boscola, Mike Folmer, John Gordner, Elder Vogel, Jr. and John Yudichak, and State Representative Tom Mehaffie, these lawmakers intend to soon introduce legislation that seeks to properly value the environmental attributes of nuclear energy by updating a 2004 law called the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards (AEPS). AEPS was designed to foster economic development and encourage reliance on more diverse and environmentally friendly sources of energy, yet excludes the one source of energy – nuclear power – that provides 93 percent of the Commonwealth’s zero-carbon electricity.
“With the release of today’s co-sponsor memo, these lawmakers are demonstrating tremendous vision and leadership by identifying an achievable legislative plan to reform AEPS and help address a fundamental flaw within the markets,” said Martin Williams, NPP Co-Chair and Business Manager of Boilermakers Local 13 in Philadelphia. “Pennsylvania is the second-largest nuclear power-producing state. We have been leaders in this industry for years and so it’s encouraging to see our lawmakers matching that with their own leadership. Much work remains, but we are encouraged by this important step forward.”
As detailed in their co-sponsor memo, failure to address this energy imbalance will cost Pennsylvanians an estimated $4.6 billion annually:
- $788 million in electricity cost increases
- $2 billion in lost state GDP
- $1.6 billion in carbon emissions-related costs
- $260 million in costs associated with harmful emissions
The AEPS approach was first detailed in a bipartisan report from Pennsylvania’s Nuclear Energy Caucus released in November 2018. That report states, “Allowing any nuclear plant in the Commonwealth to close would have significant consequences for fuel diversity, resiliency, the environment, customers, and the state’s economy.”
“Despite supporting 16,000 jobs and an ecosystem of some 500 companies who work to support nuclear power in Pennsylvania, the state’s nuclear industry is struggling to compete,” said Tony Iannelli, NPP Co-Chair and president and CEO of the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce. “Two of the state’s five plants have announced plans to close prematurely beginning later this year due to an imbalanced electric marketplace. And the sad reality is that all five Pennsylvania nuclear plants are hindered in the current market environment and projected not to meet costs if this fundamental market flaw is not addressed. So we applaud these lawmakers for rolling up their sleeves to find solutions that will keep these jobs in Pennsylvania and keep our air clean. Members of our coalition are committed to support them in this critically important effort.”
About Nuclear Powers Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania’s nuclear energy industry provides millions of families and businesses with safe, reliable and carbon-free electricity. Nuclear Powers Pennsylvania is a statewide coalition that works to educate all Pennsylvanians about the economic and environmental benefits of nuclear energy and the industry’s positive impact on local communities throughout the Keystone State.
Learn more at www.NuclearPowersPennsylvania.com. Follow us on Twitter @NuclearPowersPA.