Pa. House leaders moving cautiously on nuclear power rescue bill

Tony Romeo
March 17, 2019 - 4:00 am



HARRISBURG, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) -- A state lawmaker has introduced controversial legislation to prop up the troubled nuclear power industry in Pennsylvania. But the bill does not appear to be on a fast-track for the time being. 

The legislation would add nuclear power to Pennsylvania's Alternative Energy Portfolio Act, which requires utilities to buy "credits" from carbon-free electricity generators. 

The sponsor of the House measure says while it would cost consumers $1.77 a month on a typical bill, doing nothing would cost them more. 

Critics immediately pounced. 

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Electric utility PPL called it an 'unfair burden' on its customers. As for the House Republican majority leader, spokesman Mike Straub says the issues involved are so wide-ranging and complicated, it will take time to sort out.

"Leadership is really sort of hitting the pause button," he said. "They want to really flesh it out amongst its members. They want to hear exactly where people stand on it."

Low natural gas prices have helped put two Pennsylvania nuclear power stations, including Three Mile Island, on a path for premature shutdown.