Nuclear Bailout Bill Dramatically Misses Mark, Ignores Need for Pennsylvania to Cut Carbon Pollution

State needs a binding, declining limit on power sector carbon pollution

March 11, 2019
Elaine Labalme, (412) 996-4112,

(HARRISBURG, Pa.) Today, Rep. Tom Mehaffie and other members of the Pennsylvania State House of Representatives introduced a bill to subsidize the state’s nuclear power plants. The bill adds a third tier to the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards (AEPS), which creates a mechanism that effectively requires the purchase of power from the state’s existing nuclear plants irrespective of the availability of lower cost options.

The bill fails to address the immediate need to develop a durable strategy to clean up the carbon pollution from Pennsylvania’s energy sector. Placing a binding, declining limit on power sector carbon emissions that creates the opportunity for flexible, low-cost and efficient market-based solutions to achieve the limit will ensure Pennsylvania actually cuts pollution at the lowest cost while fostering investment in, and deployment of, zero emission electricity. This is the foundation for any sustainable long-term energy strategy.

“It’s time for Pennsylvania to focus on cost-effective policies to reduce pollution and figure out what their neighbors have already: clean energy solutions can be deployed at cost savings to customers. Pennsylvania must take concrete action to reduce its carbon emissions. It’s the only state from Maine to Virginia without a limit on carbon pollution from the power sector, and today’s proposed legislation will leave Pennsylvania even further behind. This is an expensive Band-Aid that saddles consumers with the majority of risk.”

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