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On one-year anniversary of Three Mile Island premature closure announcement local leaders say the ‘clock is ticking’ on a solution to save thousands of jobs
Clean Jobs for Pa. coalition leaders and other supporters gather on City Island to call on federal and state energy policy solutions that will fairly value nuclear power plants for the environmental, economic, and resiliency benefits they provide Pennsylvania
HARRISBURG (May 30, 2018) – Saying the “clock is ticking” on a solution to save thousands of local jobs, preserve the environment, and protect the resiliency of the nation’s power grid, local leaders of the Clean Jobs for Pennsylvania coalition gathered on City Island today to call for federal and state energy policy solutions that fairly values nuclear power plants in Pennsylvania.
The event took place on the one-year anniversary of the announcement to close Three Mile Island prematurely in the fall of 2019 unless such policy changes are put in place. Since that announcement, the owner of the dual-unit Beaver Valley nuclear power plant near Pittsburgh announced it, too, plans to close that station well before its licensed closure date.
“TMI and Beaver Valley employ more than 1,700 full-time, and thousands of contracted workers for maintenance and refueling work, and produce more zero-emission energy than all renewable energy sources in the PJM power grid combined,” said Mike Pries, Dauphin County Commissioner and Co-chair of the Clean Jobs for PA coalition. “Clearly our state’s energy policy needs to be modernized in order to keep these valuable assets operating. The clock is ticking to get something done and to save our local jobs!”
“Three Mile Island and our states’ four other nuclear plants not only directly employ thousands of workers but provide employment to thousands of members of the Building Trades,” said Joe Gusler, President of the Central Pa. Building Trades and Co-chair of Clean Jobs for Pennsylvania. “We are talking about great jobs that have helped to build our Commonwealth – electricians, pipefitters, boilermakers, laborers, and many other trade professions. If we lose these plants we lose these jobs. And they’re not coming back.”
“When posed with a similar challenge, New York, Illinois, and New Jersey all made needed improvements to their state energy policies that recognize the value of their nuclear plants and kept at-risk nuclear plants from closing prematurely,” said State Representative Tom Mehaffie. “I am confident that when the time comes Pennsylvania will do the same.”
“I am struck by the broad support and the deep passion that exists in our region for keeping Three Mile Island operating,” said State Representative Carol Hill-Evans, a new Co-chair for Clean Jobs for Pennsylvania. “The value and benefits the plant provide crosses a broad section of our community.”
“TMI and the overall value of nuclear power to Pennsylvania is clear,” said Chris Reilly, York County Commissioner and Co-chair of Clean Jobs for Pennsylvania. “In 2017 nuclear power produced 42 percent of our state’s electricity. TMI alone produced more zero-emission energy than all the state’s renewable energy combined and all told Pennsylvania’s nuclear industry supports more than 16,000 jobs.”
Clean Jobs for Pennsylvania (CJFP), a coalition dedicated to advocating for continued operations of Three Mile Island Generating Station (TMI) and nuclear power plants across Pennsylvania, has attracted close to 1,000 members who have signed up to show support. The members include a diverse collection of local business, labor, environmental, education, civic and elected leaders who have come together to support the continued operation of Three Mile Island and the Commonwealth’s four other nuclear plants, in recognition of the benefits they to our state and local communities. CJFP’s primary membership spans Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon and York counties.
CJFP formed on the heels of the announcement that TMI would prematurely close in September 2019 without necessary policy reform. The coalition has also seen a strong response from concerned citizens. Clean Jobs for Pennsylvania’s Facebook page already has more than 13,000 followers, and 4,875 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 year and as the September 2019 deadline for TMI closure approaches.
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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.