On Wednesday, the Pennsylvania legislature’s Nuclear Energy Caucus hosted a hearing at the state Capitol to receive an update about what nuclear energy means to the men and women who work inside the plants. Nuclear Powers Pennsylvania was again in attendance—both inside and outside the hearing room—with an information table set up in the Capitol halls and NPP Co-Chair Martin Williams from Boilermakers Local 13 invited to provide direct testimony and answer questions.
In addition to Martin, speakers included Joe Gusler of the Central Pennsylvania Building & Construction Trades Council, Kris Anderson of the IBEW Third District and Steve Knoebel, also from IBEW 1600.
Through their testimony, Martin, Joe, Kris and Steve made clear the permanent damage Pennsylvania and its residents would face from prematurely retiring Pennsylvania’s nuclear power plants, including:
- The loss of 16,000 jobs. For people who live locally. Who support local communities. Whose children go to school locally. Shop in local stores. Eat at local restaurants. This alone would have a huge negative impact on local economies.
- The revenue impact on Pennsylvania. Currently, Pennsylvania’s nuclear plants contribute $2 billion to the state’s economy and pay over $400 million in state and federal taxes—which helps important local services including schools, police and fire departments.
- The environmental consequences. Pennsylvania’s nuclear plants are responsible for over 90% of the state’s clean energy—and helps avoid 37 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year—the equivalent to taking 8 million passenger cars off the road.
In response to their comments, a member of the Nuclear Energy Caucus said, “This caucus should be so large we shouldn’t be able to fit in this room. This affects every member in the House. And the Senate. It’s our mission to [help them] realize this is the most important issue we’re facing. We all support families retaining jobs… and a broad energy portfolio is essential for Pennsylvania and the nation.”
In advance of the hearing, The Morning Call newspaper in Allentown published this important and timely op-ed by Tony Iannelli, president and CEO of the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce and a co-chair of Nuclear Powers Pennsylvania and Bill McGee, business manager of Local 23 of the International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers, about the impact premature closure of nuclear plants would have on the Pennsylvania workforce.
This problem affects far more people than the 16,000 workers—and we must help remedy this. To watch an archived recording of the hearing, please click here.
Thank you for your continued support. We wish you and your families a relaxing and safe Memorial Day Weekend!
-Nuclear Powers Pennsylvania