Pennsylvania has one of the most competitive energy markets in the country, benefiting consumers across the commonwealth. However, the nuclear industry, owned by out-of-state corporations such as Exelon, is calling on the government — and taxpayers — for a bailout.
The bailout would mean higher energy costs for all consumers, including Pennsylvania senior citizens, manufacturers, small businesses and public institutions such as transit systems, hospitals and schools.
The demand for expensive nuclear power is continually declining as cleaner, more affordable methods of power generation fill the void. A bailout for nuclear power plants will drive up your rates, potentially leaving eastern U.S. consumers on the hook for as much as $3.9 billion in higher energy bills.
Following the deregulation of Pennsylvania’s electric markets and after already having received more than $10 billion from ratepayers to recover “stranded” costs, the nuclear generation industry boasted about how well it could compete in the wholesale market and kept the profits. Now, when market conditions have changed, it has returned with an outstretched hand for ratepayer subsidies and a bailout.
Citizens Against Nuclear Bailouts asks: What exactly is the nuclear power emergency?
In February, Chris Crane, president and CEO of Exelon Corp. (Chicago), touted 2018’s financial results as, “another record-breaking year for Exelon, with our utility and generation businesses demonstrating best-ever performances in multiple categories.”
The news release distributed on Business Wire, a service commonly used to inform investors and financial markets, announced that Exelon Generation is projecting $7.8 billion in available cash flow over the next four years. Crane went on to say, “The successes we achieved in 2018 position us well for the year ahead.”
As Exelon revels in the successes of 2018, the profitable corporation continues to lobby Pennsylvania legislators for a nuclear industry bailout that, according to the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy, would cost ratepayers an additional $500 million to $981 million annually.
“This needs to serve as a wake-up call to all Pennsylvanians so they can see how corporate greed is trying to manipulate legislation in order to pad the pockets of shareholders,” Steve Kratz, spokesman for Citizens Against Nuclear Bailouts, said. “Why should ratepayers be egregiously taxed to bail out a corporation that boasts a record year?”
Exelon’s record-breaking year was made possible in part by a projected $306 million profit in Pennsylvania.
“Why are we creating a regrettable solution for a problem that doesn’t even exist?” Kratz asked. “Our legislators need to stand firm for the ratepayers of Pennsylvania and not be duped by avaricious corporate tactics.”
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