With Nuclear Subsidy, Pennsylvania Misses the Forest for the Trees: State Needs a Limit on Power Sector Carbon Pollution

Pennsylvania power sector is among the top five dirtiest in the nation

April 3, 2019
Elaine Labalme, (412) 996-4112, elaine.labalme@gmail.com

(HARRISBURG, Pa.) Today, Sen. Ryan Aument and other members of the Pennsylvania State Senate introduced their own nuclear subsidy bill in response to HB 11, which Rep. Tom Mehaffie introduced in the State House on March 11. The bill, like HB 11, lacks any plan to actually cut power sector carbon pollution in Pennsylvania. In addition, unlike HB11, the Senate bill does not even include a provision to extinguish the subsidy if a carbon price is adopted. Consequently, it does nothing to advance a durable, market-based solution to curb power sector emissions while Pennsylvania remains the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the nation.

The foundation of any sustainable, long-term energy strategy in Pennsylvania is a binding, declining limit on power sector carbon emissions. This approach fosters the type of flexible, low-cost solutions that cut pollution and spur deployment of zero-emission technologies.

“Pennsylvania’s energy sector is one of the dirtiest in the country, and it risks being left behind in the regional marketplace without a comprehensive approach to carbon pollution. A binding, declining limit on carbon pollution aligns with market-based principles and could drive growth of zero- carbon energy along with consumer savings. The current bill saddles consumers with costs and risks, with no guarantee of securing the carbon reductions Pennsylvania must achieve.”

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