Pennsylvania House leader: Not sure where nuclear plant discussions will go

Tony Romeo
February 03, 2019 - 4:00 am
Three Mile Island

Jeff Fusco/Getty Images

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) -- The future of nuclear power is unclear and the new majority leader of the state House says Pennsylvania lawmakers’ response to that situation is also unclear.

Low natural gas prices have helped put two Pennsylvania nuclear plants, Three Mile Island and Beaver Valley, on a path for premature shutdown. The controversial question facing government is what, if anything, to do about it. That question was posed to Republican Bryan Cutler, the state House majority leader, at a recent Press Club luncheon in Harrisburg.

Cutler says one big issue complicating matters is that the situation is unfolding faster than the legislative process can keep up with. 

“Nuclear power plants are on a two-year refuel cycle," he said. "So depending on when you hit that refuel cycle…and legislation, if it were proposed and either passes or doesn’t pass, my understanding is that some of the individuals who are lobbying for it need it in a very short, compressed time frame. And less than three minutes ago I just explained the problems of the legislative cycles.”

Cutler says lawmakers will have to have discussions but he’s not sure where they will go. And he says he’s not sure addressing the problem state-by-state is the best approach.