Lawmakers introduce bill to save PA nuclear power plants

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Right now, Pennsylvania’s five nuclear power plants account for 16,000 full-time jobs. But two of those plants are soon slated to close. 

“They are good paying jobs that simply can not be recreated once they are gone,” said Rep. Tom Mehaffie, (R) Sponsor of House Bill 11. 

On Monday, Rep. Tom Mehaffie introduced the Keep Powering Pennsylvania Act. It adds nuclear energy to the Pennsylvania Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Program, which incentivizes renewable forms of energy like solar and wind. 

“Even though Pennsylvania nuclear energy provides 93 percent of the Commonwealth’s zero-carbon electricity, nuclear energy is not permitted to participate in Pennsylvania’s AEPS program,” said Rep. Mehaffie. 

The cost of the bill is about $500 million. Supporters say the cost of doing nothing is $4.6 billion. 

“The plan that was unveiled today is a fancy way of saying bailout. And who will be hurt by this the most are ratepayers and taxpayers,” said Eric Epstein, Three Mile Island Alert. 

Eric Epstein with the group, Three Mile Island Alert says Three Mile Island has been bailed out a number of times already, and hasn’t proven to be profitable. 

Rep. Mehaffie says if the bill passes, there’s a clause for TMI to remain open for six years. 

“The plant can’t make money. Hasn’t made money in five years. It should be replaced by a cleaner, more efficient, profitable technology. That’s the way the marketplace works,” said Epstein. 

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