5 Facts on the Proposed Nuclear Power Bailout

Should Pennsylvanians pay more for electricity to benefit nuclear power companies? A group of lawmakers are proposing a new category to our renewable energy mandates known as the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards (AEPS). These mandates will provide subsidies to nuclear power companies resulting in higher utility bills.

As the debate continues, here are five key facts about nuclear power and energy subsidies in the keystone state that you should know.

  1. The Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards (AEPS) is a harmful policy. Energy mandates have resulted in higher electric rates, and lost jobs. Rather than add yet another mandate, it would be better to repeal all energy mandates and treat each energy company equally. Picking winners and losers based on who has the best lobbyists isn’t a good pathway forward.
  2. The nuclear bailout will drive up energy costs—forcing all businesses and families, including low income households—to pay more for electricity to subsidize a handful of major corporations. In New York, customers paid more than $350 million in additional energy costs in the first nine months of the program.
  3. AEPS doesn’t require that energy be produced in Pennsylvania. For example, under AEPS mandates, 48 percent of the solar energy sold in PA in 2017 was produced in North Carolina. (Recent legislative changes attempt to “close the border” on transmission of solar power.)
  4. There’s no guarantee that the proposed nuclear bailout tax will save Three Mile Island. TMI has been unable recover their costs in recent years and projections show this is unlikely to change.
  5. Nuclear power won’t go away without a bailout. The scenario put forth by the advocates of a nuclear bailout point to what would happen if nuclear power didn’t exist at all—but that’s not a real scenario. In fact, of the nuclear facilities operating in PA, only Three Mile Island isn’t currently profitable.

Instead of nuclear bailouts, lawmakers should consider eliminating existing energy subsidies and reducing business taxes that make all Pennsylvania companies more competitive.