Pros, cons of nuclear power rescue bill aired at hearing

Tony Romeo
April 09, 2019 - 4:00 am
Former Gov. Tom Ridge was the heavy hitter called in by backers of a bill to prop up the state’s struggling nuclear power industry as the state House held the first hearing on the proposal.

Tony Romeo/KYW Newsradio

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — Former Gov. Tom Ridge was the heavy hitter called in by backers of a bill to prop up the state’s struggling nuclear power industry as the state House held the first hearing on the proposal. Meanwhile, Ridge’s former energy guru was the star witness for the opposition. 

The House bill would add nuclear power to Pennsylvania’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Act, which requires utilities to buy power “credits” from carbon-free electricity generators. Ridge, the nation’s first homeland security secretary, says that nuclear power is critical to the country’s power grid. 

“Grid resilience cannot be met without nuclear power, and grid resilience is a key component of our national security," he said. 

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But later on in the hearing, Ridge’s former energy advisor, Glen Thomas, argued that the complicated bill would undo much of the benefits consumers have enjoyed from a competitive market. 

“That puts the policy makers of Pennsylvania in the policy seat by dictating where Pennsylvanians are getting their energy from," Thomas said. 

Just last week, the operators of Three Mile Island filed their proposed plan to decommission the plant.