Ohio Introduces Bill to Support Nuclear Plants; Pennsylvania Bill Gains Backers

Former Pa. governor Tom Ridge testifies in support of nuclear power.

April 23, 2019

Ohio lawmakers introduced a plan on April 12 that among other things, would provide a financial incentive to help keep open the Davis-Besse and Perry nuclear plants through a surcharge on every electric bill in the state. The plan is expected to generate $300 million a year for clean energy production, with about half of the money going to Davis-Besse and Perry, which together produce 14 percent of the state’s electricity. The rest would go to expanding Ohio’s clean energy sector.

Republican Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder said Friday the legislative proposal that would create the Ohio Clean Air Program is about more than saving the nuclear plants. He said it would provide incentives to produce zero-carbon electricity and boost efforts to have an “all of the above” approach to energy sources. He also said that the proposal was good for the state’s industrial base.

Meanwhile, in Pennsylvania, two former Pennsylvania governors declared their support for a bill in the Pennsylvania legislature to support nuclear power.

Former Republican governor Tom Ridge, who led the effort to deregulate Pennsylvania’s electricity markets in the 1990s, appeared before a legislative committee to support the House Bill 11. Former Democrat governor Ed Rendell also voiced his support for the bill, which would add nuclear power to the Pennsylvania Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard (AEPS), an act he signed into law in 2004.

“If I knew in 2004 what I know now about global warming and climate change,” Rendell said in his statement, “I would have certainly included nuclear power as a qualifying alternative energy resource under AEPS.”