Keep Nuclear Power Viable in Pa
From the time our alarm goes off, we’re on the grid. Electricity powers much of our daily lives. And as long as the lights come on, we don’t give it much thought. We rarely think about where our electricity comes from.
But as a consumer-member of Adams Electric, you have an ownership interest in your power resources. Did you know, most of the energy used in cooperative homes and businesses throughout the Commonwealth is generated by self-owned nuclear power? It’s true. In Pennsylvania, nuclear power is co-op power.
Since 1977, Pennsylvania’s electric cooperatives have been partners in the ownership of the Susquehanna Steam Electric Station (Susquehanna), a nuclear facility in Berwick, Pa. For decades, this cooperative investment in nuclear power has been a driving force in providing our communities with safe, reliable and affordable electric energy. The plant supplies approximately 60 percent of our energy needs, and is one of the main reasons cooperative consumers enjoy one of the lowest and most stable electric generation rates in the region.
But cooperative members aren’t the only ones benefiting from nuclear power. According to a report by the General Assembly’s bipartisan Nuclear Energy Caucus, without the state’s nuclear plants, Pennsylvanians would pay close to $800 million more annually for electricity. The plants annually contribute $2 billion to the state’s economy, pay $69 million in net tax revenues and employ 16,000 Pennsylvanians.
Nuclear power also provides 93 percent of the Commonwealth’s carbon-free energy, helping Pennsylvanians avoid billions in health and environmental costs. No other generation resource comes close to having this kind of impact.
The future of our nuclear plants, however, is a matter of serious concern. Recently, two plants – Beaver Valley and Three Mile Island – have announced premature closures if action is not taken to correct current market dynamics. Such closures would have devastating, long-term consequences, because once a nuclear plant closes, it’s closed forever.
While our Susquehanna plant is not currently in danger, if this troubling trend continues, it will result in higher energy prices and higher environmental costs for us all – something that will hit our rural communities particularly hard.
To avoid this fate, Pennsylvania needs a market design that recognizes nuclear power’s positive contributions. Electric cooperatives are working with legislative leaders on a bipartisan effort to secure the future of nuclear power in Pennsylvania. These lawmakers are introducing legislation to equitably compensate nuclear power for its zero-carbon emissions and grid dependability.
Rural electric cooperatives understand the benefits of nuclear power, and we can help to educate others on its importance. Please take a moment to visit PARuralAction.org and send an email to your local legislators urging them to support efforts to ensure nuclear power remains viable in Pennsylvania. After all, nuclear power is co-op power.