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Pennsylvania Senate considering nuclear energy subsidy bill

bill that would add nuclear energy to the definition of alternative energy sources that are eligible for alternative energy credits was referred to a Pennsylvania Senate committee Monday.

The current definition of alternative energy sources includes solar, wind, hydropower and geothermal energy. The bill would create a price floor and price cap for the alternative energy sources, which would be adjusted yearly. If enacted, the alternative energy credits would be able to be purchased starting June 1.

The bill specifies that any nuclear energy source that utilizes the alternative energy credits must comply with all health and safety standards from federal regulatory agencies. In order to qualify as an alternative energy source, it must be shown that if the energy source stopped operations, “the carbon dioxide emissions would increase as a result of electricity consumed in this Commonwealth.”

The total number of credits offered in a year would be equal to 50 percent of the megawatt-hours generated in the prior year. Granting the alternative energy credits creates a six-year commitment to supply a certain amount of electricity from that source. Failure to meet the commitment would require at least a partial refund of the alternative energy credits.

A similar bill was introduced to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives on March 12. Members of the Pennsylvania House and Senate circulated memos in February calling for action to prevent the premature closures of the state’s nuclear power plants.

The bills are similar to the Zero Emission Credit laws for nuclear power plants that have been enacted in New York and Illinois. New York’s law was upheldby the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in October. The Illinois law was upheld by the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in September.


Step by step we might get there.....

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