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Desperate nuclear industry is lobbying State Governments

Struggling Nuclear Industry Lobbies State Governments For Help, NPR,  May 16, 2017, MARIE CUSICK Just like coal companies, America’s nuclear power industry is having a tough time. It faces slowing demand for electricity, and competition from cheaper natural gas and renewables. And now, touting itself as a form of clean energy, the nuclear industry is lobbying state legislatures with a controversial pitch for help.”Nobody’s in the mood for a bailout,” says anti-nuclear activist Eric Epstein, as he considers where to put up a poster in the Amtrak station in Harrisburg, Pa. It has the iconic image of Uncle Sam pointing at the viewer, and saying, “I want you to stop the bailout of nuclear power in Pennsylvania.”

Epstein has been a nuclear watchdog since 1979, when one of the reactors at the nearby Three Mile Island plant partially melted down, bringing the industry’s growth in the U.S. to a standstill. Four decades later, Epstein says nuclear power is just too expensive, and he doesn’t want his state to do what New York and Illinois already have.

Both states recently agreed to give billions in subsidies to the nuclear industry by essentially broadening the definition of clean power. Supporters say the move will help combat climate change, since nuclear plants don’t emit carbon………Around the country, five nuclear plants have retired in the past five years, and another five are scheduled to close within a decade. In Pennsylvania, the Three Mile Island plant — which still has one functioning reactor — is having trouble selling its power because it’s more expensive than other sources, like natural gas.

But the bailouts are facing opposition from those competing power producers, especially the booming natural gas industry…….

The nuclear industry has ramped up lobbying efforts in several states, including Ohio. There, after hours of testimony, lawmakers put off a vote, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, saying the proposal to charge customers more to help nuclear plants did not seem likely to pass…….

May 19, 2017 - Posted by | general

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