HARRISBURG, PA — An overwhelming majority of Pennsylvanians are against state intervention to upend Pennsylvania’s competitive electricity markets by bailing out aging nuclear power plants, according to results of a recent statewide poll.
The poll, commissioned by Citizens Against Nuclear Bailouts, revealed that, while consumers support energy diversity, they are not willing to pay higher electricity bills to prop up uneconomical nuclear plants. Additionally, a vast majority of Pennsylvanians believe competition and consumers should determine the state’s electricity markets.
How strongly do you agree or disagree that competition and consumers should determine Pennsylvania’s electricity market?
- Agree: 73%
- Disagree: 16%
Are you willing to pay more for electricity to keep nuclear plants profitable and in operation?
- Yes: 12%
- No: 63%
Would you be more likely or less likely to vote for a candidate for governor, state senator or state representative if they supported legislation requiring ratepayers to subsidize nuclear power generators?
- Less likely: 52%
- More likely: 12%
“Older people on fixed or low incomes already struggle just to make ends meet,” said William Johnston-Walsh, state director, AARP Pennsylvania. “It’s plainly inappropriate to ask them to unnecessarily hand over more of their hard-earned money to large, already profitable power companies.”
The nuclear power industry has benefited from Pennsylvania’s electricity market deregulation by receiving billions of dollars to transition to competition with revenues much higher than they projected. During this time, energy costs drove manufacturing jobs out of the state. Recently, more affordable, new generation resources have lowered electricity prices for consumers.
“More efficient and affordable power generating resources have lowered energy costs and are providing a new lifeline to Pennsylvania’s manufacturers,” said Rod Williamson, executive director, Industrial Energy Consumers of Pennsylvania. “Now that Pennsylvania’s manufacturers are experiencing a competitive advantage based upon energy costs, we cannot afford subsidies to nuclear generation owners that will risk tens of thousands of good manufacturing jobs.”
The cost of a nuclear bailout in Pennsylvania largely would be dependent on the mechanism by which the federal or state government approaches the issue. For comparison, the recent bailout in Illinois is projected to cost ratepayers $2.3 billion over 10 years. In New York, the nuclear industry will receive a projected $7 billion over 12 years. The recently enacted bailout in New Jersey will cost ratepayers an estimated $300 million per year.
More information on the poll, including graphics and video, can be found at citizens-against-nuclear-bailouts.prezly.com.
Source: Citizens Against Nuclear Bailouts
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