Hypocrisy of nuclear company Exelon – claims to be ‘green’, while trying to kill wind energy
“The public policy position of Exelon is to oppose subsidies for wind and solar while the company itself purports to be this super-green company and also wants more subsidies for nuclear,” he said. “That’s just hypocritical.”
Nuclear Giant Exelon Blasts Win, by Elliot Negin, Director of News & Commentary, Union of Concerned Scientists Corporate executives often tout the benefits of competition in a free-market economic system, but it’s striking just how much large corporations don’t like it. In fact, some companies will do all they can to squash it, lobbying for favors and subsidies while working to deny them to their competitors.
The squabble over a key federal tax break for the wind industry is a case in point. Called the production tax credit (PTC), it has helped quadruple the wind industry’s generation capacity over the last five years, and six states now have enough wind turbines to meet more than 15 percent of their annual demand
Unlike most coal, nuclear, and oil and gas subsidies, the PTC — which has been around only since the mid-1990s — is not permanent. Congress has to renew it periodically. Last December, Congress let it expire yet again, and lawmakers likely will not restore it until after the November mid-term elections, if at all. The PTC represents roughly $1.2 billion in annual tax savings to the wind industry.
Wind’s more-established competitors want the PTC dead.
ExxonMobil, the Koch brothers and their front groups, for example, want Congress to let it die. Never mind that the oil and gas industry has been receiving an average of$4.86 billion annually in today’s dollars in subsidies and tax breaks since 1918. Or the fact that Congress exempted natural gas developers from key provisions of seven major environmental laws, including the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act.
The nuclear power industry doesn’t like the wind tax break, either. Its most outspoken critic is Exelon, the nation’s largest nuclear plant owner with 23 reactors at 14 plant sites. The Chicago-based utility contends Midwest wind installations are cutting into its profit margins by driving down electricity prices, and it blames the PTC. The company has been lobbying Congress to terminate it, and as I reported earlier this week, it recently launched a front group, Nuclear Matters, to generate public support for keeping all U.S. reactors running……..
Exelon Senior Executive Vice President William Von Hoene Jr. clarified the company’s position. Exelon is not “anti-wind,” he told trade reporters, “but anti-subsidy.”
Anti-subsidy?! The nuclear industry is awash in subsidies. In fact, the industry wouldn’t be economically viable without subsidies underwriting every stage of the nuclear fuel cycle, according to a 2011 report by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). Altogether, those subsidies have often exceeded the average market price of the power produced……
Given that nuclear power and natural gas represent more than 80 percent of its generating capacity, Exelon is against subsidies — but only for wind and other renewables. Exelon officials don’t mention the fact that natural gas is heavily subsidized, and they actually claim with a straight face that nuclear power is not subsidized at all.
There’s no question that nuclear power’s future isn’t looking as rosy as it did 10 years ago………
expect Exelon to continue its specious campaign against wind energy and remain mum about what’s really threatening nuclear power: natural gas. Exelon won’t criticize the industry’s massive federal subsidies, which have been in place for nearly 100 years, or its environmental law exemptions, even though they both keep gas prices low. After all, why would Exelon call attention to that when the company is in that game, too?
Also expect Exelon–and its new front group, Nuclear Matters–to continue go cup in hand to state and federal authorities, all the while insisting that the nuclear industry isn’t subsidized at all.
As one would expect, Exelon’s brazenly dishonest campaign against wind and other renewables has outraged environmentalists and nuclear watchdog groups. But it also has aroused the ire of some of its own industry fraternity members. David Crane, the chief executive of NRG Energy, a conglomerate with coal, gas, nuclear, oil, solar and wind facilities (and no relation to Exelon’s Chris Crane), didn’t mince words when asked about Exelon’s actions by a Chicago Tribune reporter. “The public policy position of Exelon is to oppose subsidies for wind and solar while the company itself purports to be this super-green company and also wants more subsidies for nuclear,” he said. “That’s just hypocritical.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/elliott-negin/nuclear-giant-exelon-blas_b_5446623.html
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