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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

New Jersey dilemma: should tax-payers prop up the nuclear industry?

Questions on outlook for nuclear plants  by Tom Johnson, NJ SPOTLIGHT

In what is likely to be the opening salvo of a nasty legislative battle, lawmakers are to convene early next week to discuss how to prevent New Jersey’s nuclear plants from shutting down prematurely.

 The bigger question is whether they also are planning to act on a yet-to-be-introduced bill that some say could provide billions of dollars in ratepayer subsidies to Public Service Enterprise Group over the next decade.

The Senate Environment and Energy Committee and Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee plan to hold a rare joint session Monday on economic challenges facing nuclear power plants, an issue that is splintering the energy sector not only in New Jersey but in Washington and elsewhere.

 News of the joint hearing this week jolted a coalition opposed to efforts to prop up nuclear units. They fear the proceedings foreshadows a legislative initiative to award lucrative financial incentives to PSEG and Exelon (a co-owner of two of the plants) during the lame-duck session, which ends early in January.

“We’ve seen this special-interest strategy before on bad bills,” said Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey Sierra Club, an opponent of subsidies to nuclear plants. “It’s how a bad bill gets passed in a lame-duck session.”………

New Jersey would not be the first state to financially back nuclear power plants. Both New York and Illinois have approved ratepayer subsidies to keep nuclear units operating in those states. In the former, the subsidies amount to nearly $1 billion over two years.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration is pushing a plan to bail out coal and nuclear units before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which is supposed to act on the proposal within two weeks.

For more than a year, PSEG has been lobbying policymakers and legislators for financial help to keep its three nuclear plants in South Jersey afloat……. http://www.philly.com/philly/news/local/20171201_Nuclear_plant_questions.html

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December 2, 2017 - Posted by | politics, USA

1 Comment »

  1. We N.J. environmentalists have been relying on the Oyster Creek closing agreement (are we looking at safe decommissioning?) and in the north, focussing on Indian Point, and allowing industry lobbyists free rein. Time to step up as full participants in the discussion.

    Comment by Sally G | December 3, 2017 | Reply


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