Any Backsliding on Nuclear Energy in PA Will Prevent Gov. Wolf’s Laudatory Climate Change Goals

The Shutdown of Nuclear Plants Across the Country Represent a Greenhouse Gas Emergency

HARRISBURG, PA – Leaders of Nuclear Powers Pennsylvania today applaud Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf for his decision to have Pennsylvania join the U.S. Climate Alliance, a bipartisan coalition of 24 governors working to implement climate solutions and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Only with the continued operation of Pennsylvania’s five nuclear power plants can the Commonwealth avoid backsliding on greenhouse gas emissions. During hearings held by the Pennsylvania Nuclear Energy Caucus in 2018, numerous experts testified that existing nuclear plants are a critical component of limiting greenhouse gas emissions, and nuclear plant closures are devastating to greenhouse gas goals.

“We applaud Gov. Wolf for his latest effort to address climate change,” said NPP Co-Chair Martin Williams. “Based on multiple briefings we have had with his Administration, he is certainly aware that losing the Beaver Valley and Three Mile Island nuclear plants – both of which already have announced premature closure unless state policies are reformed – will negate five times the emissions benefits of all the solar and wind power installed in Pennsylvania to date. DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell is correct when he says a team effort is needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Pennsylvania. We have 16,000 team members working right now to support Pennsylvania’s nuclear industry all doing their part to create always-on, 24/7 carbon-free electricity.”

According to the 2018 bipartisan and bicameral Nuclear Energy Caucus report, Pennsylvania has made headway in reducing its carbon dioxide emissions. However, it found that nuclear plant closures are devastating to greenhouse gas goals. Closures more than negate the emission benefits from switching from coal to natural gas, thereby erasing the emissions benefits of state investments in wind and solar. If it were not for its nuclear power plants, Pennsylvania’s carbon dioxide emissions would be an estimated 37 million metric tons higher each year – the equivalent of every registered vehicle on Pennsylvania’s roadways today.

Nuclear Powers Pennsylvania urges passage of the common-sense reform now before the legislature to amend Pennsylvania’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards (AEPS) to recognize the contributions the state’s nuclear industry makes throughout the Commonwealth. Two former Pennsylvania governors, Republican Tom Ridge and Democrat Ed Rendell both recently announced their support for the legislation. In written testimony to the PA Senate, Gov. Rendell said if he knew in 2004 what he knows today about climate change, he would have included nuclear energy in the original AEPS law.

About Nuclear Powers Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania’s nuclear energy industry provides millions of families and businesses with safe, reliable and carbon-free electricity. Nuclear Powers Pennsylvania is a statewide coalition that works to educate all Pennsylvanians about the economic and environmental benefits of nuclear energy and the industry’s positive impact on local communities throughout the Keystone State.

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