FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 6, 2020
HARRISBURG, PA – Nuclear Powers Pennsylvania, a statewide coalition that works to educate all Pennsylvanians about the economic and environmental benefits of nuclear energy, today urged state lawmakers not to be distracted by efforts to advance legislation (HB 2025) that attempts to block the Wolf Administration from entering Pennsylvania into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). Pennsylvania is the fourth-largest producer of carbon dioxide emissions in the nation, so joining RGGI is a logical and commendable step for the Commonwealth.
“Joining RGGI has great potential to properly value the carbon-free benefits of nuclear energy in Pennsylvania,” said NPP spokesman Steve Aaron. “Already the owner of the Beaver Valley Power Station has announced it has set aside plans to prematurely close that nuclear plant, but also confirmed it would be forced to revisit that decision if Pennsylvania doesn’t join RGGI in a timely manner. Any further closures of nuclear plants in Pennsylvania would have a devastating impact not only to our environment, but to the 15,000 jobs that are supported by our nuclear industry.”
Aaron noted that Pennsylvania already has lost hundreds of family-sustaining jobs with last year’s premature closure of Three Mile Island. Pennsylvania’s nuclear industry is a major economic driver, and RGGI will help ensure it can continue to thrive. RGGI also has the added benefit of bringing hundreds of millions in new revenues to the state with flexibility on how it can be spent.
Pennsylvania’s nuclear energy plants have significant and direct benefits for residents and businesses, as well as the Commonwealth’s economy.
- Contributes approximately $2 billion to the state GDP
- Accounts for 15,000 full-time direct and indirect in-state jobs
- Is responsible for $65 million in net state tax revenues annually, which fund important community services like schools, roads and law enforcement
- Supports an ecosystem of more than 500 companies working in nuclear energy, including Westinghouse Electric Co., GE Hitachi and Framatome
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.
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.