“It’s Not About Bailouts…”
June 4, 2018
On a scorching day when grid reliability was threatened, a U.S. congressman urged workers at Beaver Valley to not give up the fight to keep nuclear power alive.
Just hours before Rep. Keith Rothfus (R, PA-12) arrived for a town hall meeting with station workers, PJM Interconnect, responsible for the reliability of the regional power grid, issued a Hot Weather Alert, meaning any power-producing plant coming offline could have an impact on the power grid.
“It’s just one example of how important to grid reliability nuclear power plants are,” Rep. Rothfus told employees, gathered for the town hall on the day after Memorial Day. “Had this past winters’ bomb-cyclone happened and your FirstEnergy nuclear plants weren’t online, we would he been in danger of a system-wide blackout.”
Rothfus and David McKinley (R, WV-1) sent a letter to President Trump last month signed by 20 members of Congress, reiterating the need to secure America’s electric grid by invoking the administration’s emergency powers under the Federal Power Act.
“Fuel-secure nuclear and coal-fired power plants provide safe, reliable, and resilient electricity that millions of Americans depend on,” Rep. Rothfus told employees. “Nuclear plants are vital to our nation, especially during times when demand is very high and the consequences of power outages are dire.”
The congressman was joined by several politicians, all offering their support to keep Beaver Valley running: Pa. State Senator Elder Vogel (R-47), State Representatives. Aaron Bernstine (R-10) and Jim Marshall (R-14), and Beaver County Commissioners Dan Camp and Sandie Egley. The congressman spent an hour fielding questions, and often encouraged the others to share their views and bring employees up to speed on efforts at various levels to assist Beaver Valley and other nuclear plants.
“We don’t appreciate electricity until we lose it. People take for granted that the lights are going to be on,” said Sen. Vogel, who has been working in the Pennsylvania Legislature to gain support for credits to the nuclear industry for producing carbon free energy. “This isn’t about bailouts. It’s about ensuring American have electricity when we need it.”
“When elected officials interact with our employees, it helps support our message that our site is an important part of this community, as well as the energy sector as a whole,” said Beaver Valley Site Vice President Rich Bologna. “We will continue to host state and federal legislators, along with other interested parties, at our site. Beaver Valley has a great story to tell, including a legacy of reliable, clean, carbon-free energy generation for decades, one of the highest ratings of any nuclear generation plant in the nation, and our ongoing commitment to Beaver County.”
“I’m not going to give up on this,” Rep. Rothfus promised site employees. “We need a diverse energy portfolio. We are going to continue to press on, because this is a critical issue for our nation.”