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Subsidies

The nuclear industry has been heavily subsidized throughout its 50+-year history in the U.S. It continues to seek the lion's share of federal funding since it cannot otherwise afford to expand.

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Tuesday
Feb062018

NoNukeBailout: From your pockets to their bottom line

Citizens Against Nuclear Bailouts (PA) update and alert:

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and we’re feeling the love from deregulation and energy costs lower than the national average. Ratepayers in New York and Illinois aren’t as fortunate, because their states caved and enacted nuclear bailouts. This has meant higher electricity prices for families, seniors and schools, but for what?

Exelon last week announced a dividend increase to shareholders. The company had the audacity to call out the nuclear bailouts in New York and Illinois as a reason for the increase.

This is a classic case of Wall Street getting richer at Main Street’s expense. This 5 percent increase would equate to an additional $64 million per year for shareholders, according to our estimates.

Perhaps nuclear conglomerates should invest in their facilities and employees instead of fattening the wallets of their shareholders.

And they’re not done just yet. In New Jersey, a new nuclear bailout bill has been introduced, and it’s been revealed that nuclear industry officials worked with former Gov. Chris Christie to draft an earlier version of the bill:

The senators introduced the bill a day after the Associated Press reported that it had obtained records showing that PSEG lobbyists worked with the administration of former Gov. Chris Christie (R) to strengthen language in the earlier version of the bill meant to keep the company’s financial information confidential. That version, which would have provided upward of $300 million annually to nuclear operators, failed when Speaker of the General Assembly Vincent Prieto declined to post it for a vote earlier this month.

If New Jersey goes through with a nuclear bailout, ratepayers won’t be feeling any love from the industry. Instead, they’ll feel heartache and regret, just like New York and Illinois.

Continue to stand with us against nuclear bailouts in Pennsylvania!

Citizens Against Nuclear Bailouts is a coalition of Pennsylvania citizen groups,
associations, businesses and industry leaders who stand united to oppose
government—and ultimately taxpayer--funding of nuclear bailouts.

SIGN OUR PETITION

Our mailing address is:

Citizens Against Nuclear Bailouts

PO Box 11484

Harrisburg, PA 17108

Friday
Feb022018

Wash. [State] sues FERC for nuclear, coal records

As reported by E&E News:

ENERGY POLICY

Wash. sues FERC for nuclear, coal records

Sam Mintz, E&E News reporter

Published: Friday, February 2, 2018

Washington state's attorney general is suing the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for records related to the agency's consideration of an ultimately rejected plan to compensate coal and nuclear plants. [That is, subsidize them at ratepayer expense, yet again.]

(The article is behind a pay wall.)

Wednesday
Jan032018

Nuclear energy wants a spot in Trump's infrastructure bill

As reported by John Siciliano in the Washington Examiner.

(See how to take action in opposition to these nuclear power bailouts, towards the bottom of this post.)

The article extensively quotes "John Kotek, vice president for policy at the Nuclear Energy Institute, the industry's lead trade group."

Kotek calls for the nuclear power industry to share in the largesse of a Trump-backed infrastructure bill amounting to hundreds of billions of dollars in subsidies to American industries overall.

This would be in addition to the many tens of billions of dollars, or more, that the nuclear power industry (as well as the coal industry), hope to secure via Trump Energy Secretary Rick Perry's call for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to bail out these dirty, dangerous, and expensive relics of the past.

Yet another subsidy Kotek advocates for is an extension of the nuclear production tax credit. The two proposed new reactors at the Vogtle nuclear power plant in Georgia (each less than half built, despite being many billions of dollars over budget, and many years behind schedule for completion) have taken so incredibly long to build, that the production tax credits passed in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, meant to subsidize their construction, will expire in 2020, at least two years before Southern Nuclear et al. say the reactors can begin producing electricity! (Production tax credits require electricity to be generated and distributed to the grid, before they can be applied.)

All of these subsidies, flowing from the public (ratepayers and/or taxpayers), would take place just after Congressional Republicans, and President Trump, approved one of the largest single transfers of wealth (from the working and middle classes, to the richest 1% and large corporations) in U.S. history -- the tax deform bill enacted into law with President Donald J. Trump's signature, just before Christmas.

The new nuclear power subsidies would come on top of more than a half-century of major public subsidies enjoyed by the nuclear industry, as compiled in a comprehensive 2011 Union of Concerned Scientists report.

In addition to the new subsidies, Kotek also calls for regulatory retreat, to make life easier for both age-degraded old, and proposed new, atomic reactors. A big push from NEI's Kotek is for so-called Small Modular Reactors (SMRs), and for such public subsidies and weakened regulations to allow the U.S. nuclear power industry to compete with the Russian, Chinese, and South Korean nuclear power industries for sales overseas.

A recently revealed aspect of the controversies swirling around indicted former Trump National Security Director Michael Flynn involves atomic reactor sales to Saudi Arabia.

Of course, such weakened regulations will mean increased risks to safety, health, and the environment for those who lives downwind and downstream atomic reactors, radioactive waste dumps, and other nuclear facilities. This, despite Kotek's spin to the contrary.

It is telling that he praises Republican Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) chairman Kristine Svinicki. She has long been a guaranteed rubber-stamp vote for industry interests, against public interests, as an NRC Commissioner for the past decade.

If confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Republican NRC Commissioners for the next five years, Annie Caputo and David Wright would serve as a solid majority lock on all NRC votes in the nuclear power industry's interests.

TAKE ACTION!

Please contact your U.S. Representative, and both your U.S. Senators, and urge that such additional nuclear power industry subsidies, at public (ratepayer and/or taxpayer) expense, be blocked. Also urge that such nuclear power industry regulatory rollbacks be blocked.

You can phone your Members of Congress via the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. Just follow the instructions that are given, to be patched through to your Members of Congress.

You can also look up your U.S. Senators here (see FIND YOUR SENATORS in the upper left), for direct office phone numbers, fax numbers, web forms, snail mail addresses, etc. Please urge both your U.S. Senators to block Trump's NRC Commioner nominees, David Wright and Annie Caputo, as industry shills.

And you can look up your U.S. Rep. here, for detailed contact info. (See FIND YOUR REPRESENTATIVE in the upper right, type in your zip code, and click LOOK UP.)

(Ironically, NEI spokesman Kotek ran the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) consent-based siting public comment period, from Dec. 2015, throughout 2016, under the Obama administration. This was DOE's effort to get targeted communities to agree to hosting irradiated nuclear fuel burial dumps, or more near-term, centralized interim storage sites. During the transition from Obama to Trump administration, Kotek went to work for the nuclear power industry lobby arm, NEI. Kotek's "leadership" (mis-leadership) of the DOE consent-based siting effort is thus one of the more cynical examples of the pro-nuclear stranglehold on federal policies of recent times, and his passage through the revolving door between government and industry one of the more outrageous. But at least his true loyalties are now clear as day, and on full display.)

Friday
Nov242017

NY Says There's Nothing Unlawful About Nuke Subsidy Plan (but legal challenges continue!)

As reported by Law360's Keith Goldberg:

Law360, New York (November 20, 2017, 6:15 PM EST) -- New York utility regulators told the Second Circuit on Friday that the state's plan to subsidize struggling nuclear power plants is well within its authority to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and that challengers of the plan can't use the Federal Power Act or the Constitution's commerce clause to limit that authority.


A coalition of independent power producers wants the Second Circuit to revive its suit claiming that the zero-emission credits, or ZECs, offered by New York's Public Service Commission for three nuclear plants owned by Exelon Corp....
[The rest of the article is behind a pay wall.] 
Beyond Nuclear has joined with its members and supporters, as well as environmental friends and colleagues, in New York State to challenge the legality of NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo's ZEC (so-called zero emissions credits, as if routine radiation releases from every stage of the uranium fuel chain, as well as the generation of forever deadly high-level radioactive waste, are not emissions!) pro-nuclear scam in court, as well.
Thursday
Oct052017

Powering America: Consumer - Oriented Perspectives on Improving the Nation’s Electricity Markets