Updating Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Will Protect Electricity Prices, Jobs and the Environment
HARRISBURG, PA – Leaders of Clean Jobs for Pennsylvania (CJFP) today applauded the formal introduction of bipartisan legislation (HB 11) – known as the Keep Powering Pennsylvania Act – in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives that would reform an existing state law to recognize the contributions the state’s nuclear energy makes throughout the Commonwealth.
The legislation was introduced by State Representative Tom Mehaffie who held a news conference today at Ironworkers Local 404 to provide details on the bill. The proposed legislation would properly value the environmental attributes of nuclear energy by updating Pennsylvania’s landmark 2004 clean energy legislation, called the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards (AEPS). AEPS was designed to foster economic development and encourage reliance on more diverse and environmentally friendly sources of energy, yet excludes the one source of energy – nuclear power – that provides 93 percent of the Commonwealth’s zero-carbon electricity.
"This legislation is important to the economic and environmental well-being of the entire state and in particular central Pennsylvania,” said Mike Pries, co-Chair of CJFP and a Dauphin County Commissioner. "Without its passage, Three Mile Island will be shuttered in September and our region will lose more than 600 full-time, family-sustaining jobs and thousands of supplemental jobs forever."
According to economists at The Brattle Group, failure to address this energy imbalance will cost Pennsylvanians an estimated $4.6 billion annually. This includes:
- $788 million in electricity cost increases;
- $2 billion in lost state GDP;
- $1.6 billion in carbon emissions-related costs; and
- $260 million in costs associated with harmful emissions.
"Passing this legislation is extremely important to the thousands of skilled craftsmen and women who work in Pennsylvania," said Joe Gusler, President of the Central Pa. Building Trades Council and a co-Chair of CJFP. “With its passage 1,600 additional workers will be employed at TMI this fall performing maintenance on the plant. Those jobs don’t exist if the plant closes."
The AEPS approach was first detailed in a bipartisan report from Pennsylvania’s Nuclear Energy Caucus released in November 2018. That report states, “Allowing any nuclear plant in the Commonwealth to close would have significant consequences for fuel diversity, resiliency, the environment, customers, and the state’s economy.”
About Clean Jobs for Pennsylvania
Clean Jobs for Pennsylvania (CJFP) is a diverse coalition of business, labor, environmental, education, civic and local elected leaders who have come together to support the continued operation of Three Mile Island and the Commonwealth’s four other nuclear plants and the benefits they provide to their local communities. For more information about the coalition, please visit cleanjobsforpennsylvania.com.
CJFP formed on the heels of the announcement that TMI would close in September 2019 without necessary policy reform. The coalition has also seen a strong response from concerned citizens on social media. Clean Jobs for Pennsylvania’s Facebook page already has more than 16,000 followers, and 5,550+ people follow the coalition on Twitter. Members expect to see these numbers rise as they raise awareness of this issue and its potential impact on communities at a number of local events throughout the summer.