The nuclear industry in Illinois, New York, and New Jersey were able to successfully secure subsidies to bail out uneconomical plants.
Instead of a direct subsidy bailout In Pennsylvania, the nuclear industry approached the Pennsylvania legislature to request an alteration to the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard allowing nuclear, as a zero carbon emitter, to be included.
PCIC is engaged with a coalition of businesses, utilities, consumers and manufacturers opposing any action to subsidize nuclear power because of the electric market impacts and associated costs. PCIC sent a letter to the Pennsylvania Legislature to voice opposition to House Bill 11 and Senate Bill 510. This proposed legislation would increase all consumer electric bills, including those of the state’s chemical and petrochemical manufacturers.
According to an analysis by the Industrial Energy Consumers of Pennsylvania, if nuclear power generation were to be added to the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard, the state’s industrial consumers would face at least $192 million in additional electricity costs annually.
Small manufacturers could annually pay an extra $60,000 on average, while larger manufacturers could see a nearly $2 million annual increase in electric costs. Large manufacturers with multiple facilities could face a nearly $4 million annual hike.
The legislation did not pass and the industry has now set sights on pushing a carbon cap and trade program or Pennsylvania joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative in an attempt to layer costs on the natural gas and coal industries, making nuclear more competitive.
PCIC will keep the membership updated on this issue as it evolves when the legislature returns in September.