The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

“Nuclear Energy Caucus” should not get Pennsylvania residents ripped off for the nuclear industry

Pennsylvania residents shouldn’t bear cost of propping up nuclear industry  MAY 25, 2017 

Add a new name to the list of groups coming hat-in-hand looking for financial help from Harrisburg: the nuclear power industry.

 No bills have been introduced yet, but the industry seems intent on asking for tax breaks or tax credits in Pennsylvania, along the lines of the hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies recently granted in New York state and Illinois.

A leader in the movement is Exelon Corp., which operates three of Pennsylvania’s five nuclear plants. In other states, the industry sought and won “zero-emission credits” arguing, that much like wind and solar power, nuclear plants produce clean, carbon-free energy.

 Recently, a group of state legislators – many with nuclear plants in their districts – formed a Nuclear Energy Caucus to promote the industry’s cause in Harrisburg……

We don’t believe taxpayers should be asked to subsidize industries that can’t compete in the open market.

We realize that subsidies are part of the political landscape, especially in the energy sector. The government has given subsidies and grants to encourage growth of new industries – wind and solar got such subsidies in their early days. But the theory behind those breaks was that once those industries reached a larger scale, they could fend for themselves.

What’s different now is that we have mature industries that are big businesses – and we include coal on this list – that want government to intervene to artificially protect their market share. Even with actions taken by the Trump administration to help the coal industry, most economists believe use of coal will continue to decline because it remains both “dirty” and expensive.

Is the situation in the nuclear industry different? No one is predicting a sudden or even long-term demand for nuclear power in this country. Utilities aren’t building new plants, in the same way they are not building new coal-fired plants. Demand for electricity generally has been flat since the Great Recession.

That means that subsidies given today could end up becoming permanent price supports – for the industry’s bottom line……


May 27, 2017 - Posted by | politics, USA

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