Consumer-harming Resolution Would Encourage Federal Bailout

Intervention in competitive energy markets will increase Pennsylvania electricity rates

HARRISBURG (October 23, 2017) - Citizens Against Nuclear Bailouts  — a diverse coalition of Pennsylvania citizens’ groups, power generators and energy, business and manufacturing associations — continues to urge Pennsylvania lawmakers to stand up for ratepayers by opposing the proposed Department of Energy bailout that will result in massive subsidies for specific power generators, including nuclear. 

“We value all sources of energy so long as all power generation industries compete by the same rules without government mandates and picking winners and losers,” said Michael K. Messer, President of Industrial Energy Consumers of Pennsylvania (“IECPA”). “Federal policy changes and tariffs is just a backdoor approach by the federal government to force Pennsylvania consumers to pay higher electric rates to bail out nuclear corporations that failed to prepare for electric competition.” 

The Pennsylvania house and senate co-chairs of the Nuclear Energy and Coal caucuses recently introduced concurrent resolutions urging the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to “swiftly” consider the Department of Energy’s proposed Grid Resiliency Pricing Rule. The new rule would implement policies to artificially prop up certain energy generators at the ratepayers expense. The Pennsylvania Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee plans to vote on this consumer-harming resolution at noon on Tuesday, Oct. 24.

The federal action would undermine Pennsylvania’s deregulated electricity markets which have benefited consumers for 20 years. In fact, a recent analysis from ICF Global determined that the implementation of the Department of Energy’s bailout plan could cost ratepayers up to $3.8 billion annually through 2030

“Lawmakers deregulated Pennsylvania’s electricity markets two decades ago and competition has yielded lower electricity prices for consumers and billions of dollars of private investment in new power generation resources,” said Michael K. Messer, President of Industrial Energy Consumers of Pennsylvania (“IECPA”). “This federal mandate would derail competition increase electricity costs by billions of dollars for all Pennsylvania consumers, including seniors, families, small businesses, manufacturers, schools, hospitals, and transit systems.” 

The nuclear industry already convinced lawmakers in Illinois and the governor of New York to bail out the industry in those states. The New York bailout is estimated to cost ratepayers at least $7.6 billion, while the Illinois bailout will cost an estimated $235 million annually for more than a decade. A similar measure was proposed in Ohio and Connecticut, but has failed to gain support. 

Click here to read the House resolution and here to read the Senate co-sponsorship memos. More information on the bailout and its economic costs is available at:

Steve Kratz Spokesperson at Citizens Against Nuclear Bailouts