HARRISBURG, Pa. — Citizens Against Nuclear Bailouts — a diverse coalition of Pennsylvania citizens’ groups, power generators and energy, business and manufacturing associations — released the following statement today in response to Exelon’s announcement that it plans to close the Three Mile Island (TMI) nuclear power plant in 2019:
Today’s announcement by Exelon to close TMI is unfortunate for the employees and local community; however, it does not change the fact that Pennsylvania ratepayers should not have to pay to bail out an outdated nuclear facility. Lawmakers created a deregulated electricity market that has delivered low energy costs for all Pennsylvania consumers.
The decision to close TMI is a direct result of Exelon’s failure to adapt to the changing market conditions after the nuclear industry received nearly $9 billion from ratepayers for transitional costs to prepare for Pennsylvania moving to a competitive electricity market.
A bailout of the nuclear industry may temporarily extend the lifespan of TMI for a few years, but the negative effect of higher energy costs as a result of a bailout would have a major impact on all energy users, including senior citizens, manufacturers, small businesses and many others.
Last year, legislation was rushed through in Illinois that burdens ratepayers with the obligation to provide Exelon with $235 million per year in subsidies to prop up its nuclear power generation facilities in the state. The nuclear industry in New York will receive about $7 billion over 12 years, assuming the industry can keep its three financially distressed nuclear power plants in operation.
The closing of TMI will not impact electric supply, and the grid will remain reliable. PJM Interconnection confirmed this year that the electricity grid for its 13-state region has a stunningly high reserve margin of 42,000 megawatts of excess capacity — TMI currently produces approximately 837 megawatts of power.
The bottom line is that Pennsylvania ratepayers should not endure higher electricity bills to bail out aging nuclear plants that can no longer compete and leave behind a legacy of nuclear waste.
More information on the bailout and its personal and economic costs is available at: http://nonukebailoutpa.com/bailoutpa.html
***The images and video attached to this media release can be downloaded for the use of accompanying the information above in a print or broadcast publication. Using these images and video in any other way is not permitted.***
David Taylor, President of the Pennsylvania Manufacturers' Association - Downloadable Soundbites