LONDONDERRY TOWNSHIP, PA. (Nov. 29, 2018) – Leaders of the Clean Jobs for Pennsylvania (CJFP) coalition today said that a report from the state legislature’s Nuclear Energy Caucus is a critical next step to finding a solution for preserving Pennsylvania’s fleet, including Three Mile Island, and is further proof that nuclear energy provides thousands of jobs, improves our air quality, ensures grid reliability and national security, and will help to keep electricity rates affordable for Pennsylvanians for years to come.
The report, released today at an event in Londonderry Township, details possible policy solutions that would properly value the contributions of nuclear energy and avoid the premature closure of Pennsylvania nuclear plants, including Three Mile Island and Beaver Valley. Clean Jobs for Pennsylvania includes hundreds of community leaders, labor officials, small business owners, elected officials and others from central Pennsylvania who have advocated for policy changes that will keep Three Mile Island operating well into the future.
“We commend the Nuclear Energy Caucus for its thoughtful approach to this important issue,” said CJFP co-Chair and Dauphin County Commissioner Mike Pries. “It is now up to our state leaders to come together on a solution. If they don’t act, in less than one year from now we will lose 675 full-time jobs and millions of man-hours for skilled labor during outage and maintenance work, 800 megawatts of carbon-free energy, and millions of dollars in lost tax revenue and other economic spin-offs when TMI closes.”
“TMI and the overall value of nuclear power to Pennsylvania is clear,” said Chris Reilly, York County Commissioner and Co-chair of CJFP. “In 2017, nuclear power produced 42 percent of our state’s electricity. TMI alone produced more carbon-free energy than all of the state’s renewable energy combined and all told more than 16,000 Pennsylvanians are employed by the nuclear industry. I urge all lawmakers to read this report and take action to protect our economy and environment.”
“Premature nuclear plant closures don’t just hurt workers. Communities, businesses and families across Pennsylvania rely on the nuclear industry to reliably provide affordable energy,” said Anna Dale, Londonderry Twp. Supervisor. “Pennsylvania families will pay $788 million more annually to keep the lights on if nuclear plants close studies show.”
Pennsylvania today ranks second in the nation for nuclear power generating capacity, owed to a long tradition of nuclear energy leadership and technological innovation. However, that production is threatened with news that at least two of Pennsylvania’s five nuclear plants are preparing for premature closure without a legislative remedy. Three Mile Island in Dauphin County and Beaver Valley in Beaver County are slated for closure in 2019 and 2021, respectively. According to an April 2018 report from The Brattle Group, should those two plants close, along with two nuclear plants slated for closure in Ohio, it would reverse environmental benefits equal to 25 years of wind and solar development.
NPP thanked Caucus leadership, including Co-Chairs, Senators Ryan Aument and John Yudichak, and Representatives Becky Corbin and Rob Matzie for their leadership in leading a process that thoughtfully considered that complex challenges facing the nuclear industry. In total, nearly 80 lawmakers, Republicans and Democrats alike, from both the House and Senate, are members of the Nuclear Energy Caucus.