Matzie calls for full, thorough vetting of nuclear plant energy bill to support solution that works for all

HARRISBURG, April 15 – State Rep. Rob Matzie today joined colleagues on the House Consumer Affairs Committee in ongoing public hearings to consider a bill that would add nuclear energy to the list of alternative energy sources benefiting from ratepayer-subsidized credits.

Matzie, who is Democratic chairman of the committee and co-chairman of the bi-partisan, bi-cameral Nuclear Energy Caucus, heard testimony from industry representatives on the potential impacts of H.B. 11, which would require that utilities purchase an additional 50 percent of energy credits from nuclear power plants.

As the committee weighs the bill, Matzie cited the importance of a thorough vetting process that includes open dialog and transparency.

“House Bill 11 is the most impactful and complex public policy legislation we’ve had before us in decades,” Matzie said. “As Democratic chairman of the House Consumer Affairs Committee, it is my view that nothing less than a full vetting and public conversation is merited. This is the second of four scheduled hearings. We are putting in the work. Only then will legislators, and the public at large, be able to make an informed decision.

“I am supportive of a solution that keeps a diverse energy portfolio, like we currently have, alive and well in Pennsylvania. I’m supportive of a solution that will help lower carbon emissions. I’m supportive of a solution that protects workers and communities. And I’m supportive of a solution that keeps electric bills low.”

The bill in question would amend the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act – which requires that 18 percent of power sold in Pennsylvania be derived from alternative energy sources by 2021 – by adding a “zero-emission power” category reserved for the state’s nuclear power plants.  

Without any action, two of those plants – including Exelon’s Three Mile Island and FirstEnergy’s Beaver Valley plant near Pittsburgh – are scheduled to shut down within the next few years.