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.



Resistance continues against nuke industry mega-money grabs

"Burning money" graphic art by Gene Case, Avenging AngelsFrom FirstEnergy's problem-plagued Davis-Besse in OH, to Dominion's Millstone twin unit power plant in CT, nuclear utilities are seeking many billions of dollars in public subsidies to prop up dirty, dangerously age-degraded, and uncompetitive atomic reactors. Exelon is now the country's largest electric provider, after its hotly disputed takeover of Pepco; it simultaneously plans to gouge Mid-Atlantic ratepayers, while also lobbying the states of IL and NY for multi-billion dollar bailouts. For its part, Entergy -- despite its welcome announcement of FitzPatrick's closure date -- seeks public subsidy even for its cash cow Indian Point, with a likely lawsuit up its sleeve, if it doesn't get what it wants. But ratepayers and environmental groups across the country are uniting to urge elected officials to protect them from the risks of such 21st century nuclear robber barons. More.

"Playing Nuclear-Plant Chicken: Exelon's Crane Makes Springfield Rounds Again"

The BEST coalition is described on its website as "a 501 (C)(4) nonprofit organization comprised of business, government and consumer groups as well as small and large businesses working to protect struggling Illinois ratepayers from rate increases caused by the proposed $1.6 billion Exelon bailout. We do not oppose nuclear power. We oppose bad policy that would increase costs to consumers and businesses without providing any benefits." (emphasis added)

BEST has reprinted at its website an article by Crain's Chicago Business, "Playing Nuclear-Plant Chicken: Exelon's Crane Makes Springfield Rounds Again."


Exelon's takeover of Pepco on brink of collapse!

Sept. 17, 2015 PowerDC rally against Exelon takeover of Pepco, before marching to D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser's office to deliver the hand-signed banner.As reported by the Washington Post, Chicago-based Exelon Nuclear and Mid-Atlantic utility Pepco have filed "last-ditch" proposals to save their $6.8 billion merger from imminent defeat. But the proposals lack support from any other party to the D.C. Public Service Commission (PSC) proceeding, including D.C.'s mayor, attorney general, and Office of Public Counsel. The proposals have been previously rejected by the D.C. PSC, multiple times. And they would up-end a proceeding that has been under way for two years already, providing the public with an absurdly short one-week time period in which to comment.

Although Exelon President and CEO, Chris Crane, had said recently to investors that he would walk away from the takevoer if it weren't settled by March 4, he has now urged the DC PSC to agree to the new bad deal by April 7.

PowerDC, a coalition of environmental, public interest, and ratepayer groups, urges D.C. residents and ratepayers to take action, to block Exelon's bad deal, once and for all.


Washington, D.C.'s mayor, attorney general, and Office of People's Counsel reject PSC conditions for Exelon takeover of Pepco!

Hold the presses! As reported by PowerDC, as well as NIRS and CCAN, the Mayor of Washington, D.C., Muriel Bowser, as well as D.C.'s Attorney General, Karl Racine, and the Office of People's Counsel, Sandra Mattavous-Frye, Esq., have all rejected the PSC's conditions for the Exelon takeover of Pepco to proceed. As reported by the Washington Post, this could well doom the corrupt deal. (Note that an earlier version of the Washington Post article stated, appropriately, that "The debate over the merger centered on the role of renewable energy sources like wind and solar against legacy technologies, such as nuclear power and natural gas. Many environmental groups opposed the deal because they believed it would hinder the migration toward renewable energies." (emphasis added) But, Orwellian "down the memory hold" style, the current version of the article has edited out this entirely appropriate language!) But eternal vigilance and redoubling of efforts is more called for than ever: PowerDC will hold a press conference at the JW Marriott near the mayor's office at the Wilson Building in downtown D.C. on Wed., March 2nd at noon, calling for an end to this bad deal, once and for all. You can take action too, by writing D.C. decision makers.


"A huge loss" for the public interest, ratepayers, and environment: Exelon Nuclear takeover of Pepco poised for approval

Sept. 17, 2015 PowerDC rally against Exelon takeover of Pepco, before marching to D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser's office to deliver the hand-signed bannerAs reported by Crain's Chicago Business, the Washington Post, and Bloomberg, Exelon Nuclear is now poised to take over Mid-Atlantic utility Pepco. Exelon won the war, despite a determined public interest, ratepayer, and environmental group coalition winning all the battles against the controversial merger over the course of the past two years.

The D.C. Public Service Commission issued a 270-page Opinion and Order, and a press release.

As explained in the DC PSC press release, "the Commission ruled by a vote of 2 to 1 that if all settling parties accept the proposed conditions within 14 days from the date of the Order, the Revised NSA [Nonunanimous Full Settlement Agreement and Stipulation] and the Exelon/Pepco Merger will be approved as in the public interest without further Commission action."

PSC Commissioners Joanne Doddy Fort and Willie L. Phillips voted in favor of the merger; PSC Chairman Betty Ann Kane dissented, holding -- as she has since August 2015 -- that the merger is not in the public interest.

As reported by the Washington City Paper:

Opposing the merger, PSC member Betty Ann Kane said there was no evidence Pepco couldn't keep running without the purchase from Chicago-based Exelon. A merger, Kane said, would leave the PSC "forever playing whack-a-mole" to enforce the terms of the deal on Exelon. 

As quoted in the Blooomberg article:

"This is a huge loss for consumers, a discouraging setback for the institutions to protect them and a sad commentary on how things are done in the District," said Allison Fisher, public outreach director for Public Citizen.

(See Allison Fisher's full statement here.)

As summarized by PowerDC:


PowerDC has issued the following action alert:

Today the D.C. Public Service Commission (PSC) proposed a settlement offer to Mayor Bowser and the Office of People’s Council (OPC) that removes rate protections for D.C. residents. If the mayor and OPC accept this bad deal it means Exelon will take over Pepco and your monthly electric bill will increase.

Tell Mayor Bowser and OPC not to sign off on this bad deal!

Per the PSC’s decision, the settling parties have 14 days to either accept or reject the agreement. This is our last chance to stop Exelon.

The initial settlement included $25 million dollars meant to protect residential customers from expected rate increases. This protection is not included in the PSC’s alternative settlement. The PSC’s terms would allow the money to be allocated in the next rate increase. This means that money could end up anywhere.

In Baltimore, BG&E has raised its rates four times since its takeover by Exelon. We can’t let that happen here.

We need to stop this bad deal and we need your help today!

Thank you,

The PowerDC Coalition

David Kraft, Executive Director of Nuclear Energy Information Service in Chicago, a 35-year watchdog on Exelon/Commonwealth Edison, also issued a statement. 

For the past many long months, Beyond Nuclear has joined with public interest, environmental, and ratepayer allies in the PowerDC coalition to resist Exelon's takeover of Pepco at every twist and turn. This included the submission by Beyond Nuclear of extensive comments to the D.C. Public Service Commission, detailing the abuse Exelon has heaped on its own neighbors and workers (especially whistle-blowers) in Illinois, with a warning to not welcome such a rogue corporation to town. Given the permissive approval poised to take place, it is clear Beyond Nuclear's warnings fell on deaf ears, in terms of the 2-1 majority vote at the D.C. PSC. 

The approval deal comes despite a warning by financial analysts that the Exelon-Pepco merger is value destructive, and underlying weakness threatens total returns.