A nuclear bailout would hurt Pennsylvanians!

PA nuclear power corporations show their greed

Pennsylvania’s nuclear industry simply does not need a bailout from ratepayers! 

In 2018, nuclear power generators in Pennsylvania were projected to make more than $600 million in profits, according to PJM Interconnection’s Independent Market Monitor. Additionally, a 2019 report offered a 10-year outlook that shows Pennsylvania nuclear power generators are projected to make more than $3.4 billion in profits over that time. 

Despite that, already profitable nuclear corporations are pushing for legislation that would hurt Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable citizens, including seniors and those on fixed incomes, as well as small businesses, manufacturers and school districts.

Pennsylvania’s four nuclear power plants are profitable, according to independent data.

Why do they want you to pay millions of extra dollars if they’re already making money?

The nuclear industry changes its reasons as often as it earns a dollar. No matter what kind of lipstick they attempt to put on this bailout, it’s just that: a bailout to further line the pockets of wealthy executives and shareholders.

No amount of corporate extortion by an industry behemoth that proudly boasted to shareholders that it had ‘another record-breaking year’ in 2018, and got off to a fine start in the first quarter of 2019 as well, should force the hand of policymakers.
— John L. Micek, Pennsylvania Capital-Star Editorial

A nuclear bailout takes away your choice 
A nuclear industry bailout takes choice away from the consumer and puts it in the hands of politicians and shareholders. Right now if you want to switch electricity suppliers, you can. If you want to purchase a 100 percent renewable energy plan, you can do that, too. 

Deregulation of Pennsylvania’s electric power industry brought us a competitive electric market, electric choice and more affordable rates. The bailout would force us to buy nuclear energy no matter what it costs. That’s not a choice.

Pennsylvania’s power grid is reliable
According to the experts, there’s no reliability issue, even with the decommissioning of Three Mile Island and the planned closures of other nuclear plants in the region. The grid remains intact even under extreme circumstances, such as a severe weather event or a pipeline interruption. 

Bailing out nuclear corporations is not a “green” issue
Nuclear power generation is not as clean as the industry claims, and it does not produce renewable energy. Generating nuclear power leaves us all a legacy of radioactive spent fuel to deal with.

So when the choice, reliability and green arguments come up short, the industry argues that the bailout will save jobs. Yet, federal regulations require that nuclear power plants must close eventually. Even then, closing and decommissioning a nuclear power plant is a long, multimillion-dollar process that doesn’t immediately cause employees to lose their jobs. 

The nuclear industry has already fooled other states into buying its snake oil. Look at Ohio. FirstEnergy Solutions led the push to land more than $1 billion in public funds for a nuclear bailout to save “good-paying jobs” at the state’s two nuclear power facilities. Now it’s trying to renege on its obligations to its union workers. Clearly, it’s more worried about profits than people.

Obviously, FirstEnergy cares more about its friends on Wall Street than the workers at the two facilities.
— Ohio state Rep. David Leland, Columbus Dispatch, Aug. 5, 2019

Buyer’s remorse 

Ohio voters quickly learned they were hoodwinked by the industry to the point where a referendum to overturn the state’s bailout might make it to the ballot.

The costs are mounting for other states saddled with a bailout. Nuclear bailouts will cost Illinois ratepayers $2.3 billion over 10 years. The industry will rake in about $7 billion over 12 years in New York, and New Jersey ratepayers will be forced to shell out an extra $300 million per year.

We cannot let the nuclear industry take more money away from hardworking Pennsylvania ratepayers! 

The majority of PA ratepayers do not want a nuclear bailout.

The bailout journey in Pennsylvania

August 2015: Three Mile Island is unable to sell its future electricity during energy auction. Closure rumors begin.

March 2017: State lawmakers form the bipartisan Nuclear Energy Caucus.

March 2017: CANB is formed to save Pennsylvania ratepayers from higher energy costs. 

May 2017: TMI again fails to secure an electricity contract.

May 2017: TMI owner Exelon says it will close the nuclear facility unless state lawmakers give it a bailout.

March 2019: State House members and Senate members introduce bailout bills. 

May 2019: Pennsylvania lawmakers listen to their constituents and do not move the bailout bills forward.

May 2019: Exelon confirms it will shut down TMI on Sept. 30, 2019.

September 2019: The nuclear industry continues its attempts at getting a bailout.