HARRISBURG, P.A. – State Senator Ryan Aument (R-Lancaster) introduced legislation today to add a new “tier” for nuclear power to the Pennsylvania Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard (AEPS). Like a similar bill introduced in the state House last month, the legislation is seriously flawed. While the new Tier III would be open to renewable energy as well as nuclear power, it is unlikely to drive new clean energy projects. The bill also fails to set limits on carbon pollution or require nuclear plants to make a showing of financial distress or narrowly tailor its support mechanisms to protect consumers.
A statement follows from Mark Szybist, Senior Attorney for Climate and Clean Energy at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC):
“This legislation is just as deeply flawed and troubling as the House bill introduced last month. It props up nuclear plants regardless of profitability—and despite creating some headroom for renewables, that space is as likely to be filled by nuclear plants in Ohio. Not only does the bill fail to include limits on carbon pollution, it also omits any opportunity to adjust the cost of nuclear subsidies if a price on carbon is established. This bill is nothing more than a band-aid fix for nuclear power at a time when Pennsylvanians desperately need and deserve a long-term plan for clean energy.”
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The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.