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Will Trump take emergency measures to bail out 2 economically failing nuclear power stations?

As state help fades for 2 nuclear plants, will Trump attempt rescue? Lancaster Online, 24 Apr 18, AD CRABLE | Staff Writer

With two nuclear plants in Pennsylvania now inching closer to the point of no return, it appears there is little political will for a financial life preserver on the legislative level.

“A bailout, subsidy-type approach that we’ve seen in New York, Illinois, now New Jersey — I’ve not been satisfied that is politically viable here in Pennsylvania,” state Sen. Ryan Aument said last Tuesday.

Aument spoke after a hearing with beleaguered utility leaders called by the House-Senate Nuclear Energy Caucus that the Landisville Republican helped form to come to the aid of nuclear plants. He was not available for additional comment Monday.

……..Exelon has said that without federal or state help, its Three Mile Island nuclear plant in Dauphin County will close in September 2019, idling more than 600 workers.

FirstEnergy Corp, which recently filed for bankruptcy, recently announced that without relief it would close its Beaver Valley nuclear plant near Pittsburgh in 2021, as well as two nuclear plants in Ohio.

……. Appeals to feds

FirstEnergy Corp. has taken the drastic step of asking the U.S. Department of Energy to declare an energy emergency to ensure profits for nuclear and coal plants.

DOE has indicated it is cool to such a move.

In January, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission rejected a DOE proposal to approve rules to subsidize nuclear and coal plants to keep the nation’s power supply “reliable and resilient.”

But the Trump administration reportedly is considering a new initiative to make good on the president’s campaign pledge to protect the coal and nuclear power industries.

Bloomberg is reporting that President Trump is considering coming to the aid of struggling coal and nuclear by invoking a Cold War-era federal law that gives a president sweeping authority to nationalize the energy sector to make sure it is available in times of war or after a disaster.

The Defense Production Act was passed under the Truman administration and was used then to cap wages and impose price controls on the steel industry.

The White House Press Office did not respond to a request for comment.

At the Nuclear Caucus hearing in Harrisburg last week, representatives from Exelon, FirstEnergy and Talen Energy said that the federal government is not likely to act in time to save the nuclear plants, and they appealed for Pennsylvania legislators to act as several other states have.

“Help is not coming from Washington,” said Kathleen Barron, Exelon’s senior vice president of federal regulatory affairs and policy…….


April 25, 2018 - Posted by | politics, USA

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