FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Steve Aaron
THREE MILE ISLAND’S PREMATURE CLOSURE NOW JUST ONE YEAR AWAY; LOCAL LEADERS SAY THE ‘CLOCK IS TICKING’ TO SAVE THOUSANDS OF JOBS
Clean Jobs for Pa. leaders and other supporters gathered at the historic Middletown Town Clock to call for federal and state policy solutions that will fairly value nuclear energy for the environmental, economic, and resiliency benefits it provides Pennsylvania
MIDDLETOWN, PA. (Sept. 27, 2018) – Local leaders of the Clean Jobs for Pennsylvania coalition, dozens of Three Mile Island employees, and other supporters gathered at the historic Middletown Town Clock today to remind elected leaders that the “clock is ticking” to find a policy solution that fairly values nuclear energy in Pennsylvania and saves thousands of local jobs, preserves the environment, and protects the resiliency of the nation’s power grid.
The event took place to mark the passing of the one-year “countdown to closure” as Three Mile Island (TMI) will be prematurely closed on or about September 20, 2019 – unless policymakers fix energy policies that fail to properly value nuclear energy. Those unfair policies have also contributed to the announcement that the dual-unit Beaver Valley nuclear power plant near Pittsburgh also will close prematurely in 2021.
“TMI and Beaver Valley employ more than 1,700 full-time hard-working Pennsylvanians, and thousands of contract workers for maintenance and refueling work, and produce more carbon-free energy than all renewable energy sources in the regional 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!”
“If energy policies are revised to fairly value TMI’s clean and reliable energy, next September the plant will perform a refueling outage that will employ more than 1,500 people who will stay in local hotels, eat in local restaurants and pay local taxes,” said Jon Levengood, President of local 777 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). “Without needed reform our community will lose all of that and more.”
“Pennsylvania has been a leader in the development and operation of commercial nuclear power plants for more than 50 years. I don’t believe our state leaders want to abandon an industry that employs tens of thousands of hard-working Pennsylvanians and produces zero-carbon emitting energy on a reliable basis,” said State Representative Tom Mehaffie, a member of CJFP and also a member of Pennsylvania’s Nuclear Energy Caucus. “I am confident that when the time comes Pennsylvania will act to preserve this vital industry.”
“Three Mile Island has been a great neighbor,” said Anna Dale, Londonderry Twp. Supervisor and small business owner. “I hear from concerned residents who worry about their taxes going up and from employees who worry they will be out of a job or have to move out of state to take jobs at other nuclear plants.”
“TMI and the overall value of nuclear energy to Pennsylvania is clear,” said Chris Reilly, York County Commissioner and Co-chair of Clean Jobs for Pennsylvania. “In 2017, nuclear energy produced 42 percent of our state’s electricity. TMI alone produced more carbon-free 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 about 1,000 members. 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 16,000 followers, and 5,800 people follow the coalition on Twitter. Members expect to see these numbers rise even higher 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.
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.