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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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Saturday
May072016

Crain's Chicago Business: Why the state might raise your power bill

Map by Crain's Chicago BusinessAs reported by Steve Daniels at Crain's Chicago Business, the coal burner Dynegy has joined the atom splitter Exelon is seeking approval from the Illinois State Legislature for a mega-bailout, at ratepayer expense, to prop up dirty, dangerously old, and noncompetitive power plants (see the Crain's Chicago Business map, left, for plant locations in the state).

Ironically, Dynegy has critized such ratepayer-funded subsidies in Ohio. It has opposed efforts by FirstEnergy and American Electric Power to obtain above market rates Power Purchase Agreements from Ohio ratepayers, as in the proceeding before the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. FirstEnergy's bailout would prop up both its problem-plagued Davis-Besse atomic reactor, as well as several coal plants (AEP's bailout would prop up exclusively coal plants).

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has put a hold on the PUCO's approval of the FirstEnergy and AEP bailouts. Some analysts see this as the end of the proposals.

Adding to the irony, Exelon Nuclear, as well as Dynegy, offered bids to outcompete FirstEnergy before the PUCO. Exelon said it could provide the same amout of electricity for $2 billion less than FirstEnergy; Dynegy said it could do so for $2.5 billion less than FirstEnergy.

While Exelon Nuclear and Dynegy tout free market competition in electricity in Ohio, they are attempting to do the opposite in Illinois -- seeking state approval for massive ratepayer subsidies, to prop up age-degraded, noncompetitive plants.

Thursday
Apr072016

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.
Tuesday
Mar152016

"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."

Monday
Mar072016

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.

Tuesday
Mar012016

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.