Pennsylvania’s Bipartisan Nuclear Energy Caucus Releases Report Detailing Impacts of Losing the State’s Nuclear Industry and Provides Options for Taking Action in 2019

HARRISBURG, November 29, 2018 – Senators Ryan Aument (R-36) and John Yudichak (D-14) along with Representatives Becky Corbin (R-155) and Rob Matzie (D-16), who co-chair the Pennsylvania General Assembly’s bipartisan Nuclear Energy Caucus (NEC), today released the “Bicameral Nuclear Energy Caucus Report” detailing the nuclear energy industry’s contributions to Pennsylvania’s communities, economy, and environment. The report, which will be transmitted to all members of the General Assembly and to Governor Wolf, includes four options for the future of the state’s challenged industry, including the General Assembly taking action in 2019 to prevent the employment, economic, and environmental devastation associated with the premature closure of nuclear plants in the Commonwealth.

Nuclear Energy Caucus Releases Report Acknowledging the announced premature closures of Three Mile Island in 2019 and Beaver Valley in 2021, one-fourth of Pennsylvania’s nuclear power, Senator Aument said: “As state lawmakers, we take seriously our obligations to set energy policies that help promote Pennsylvania’s economy and protect our environment. The loss of these plants would be a devastating and permanent blow to Pennsylvania’s communities, economy, and environment so we took a hard look at what could and should be done to prevent this, and future, devastation.”

Since its formation in March 2017, the Nuclear Energy Caucus – the first of its kind anywhere in the nation – has tried to better understand the underlying causes of nuclear plant premature retirements, and to determine if these announced closures were an anomaly or a symptom of a larger problem for Pennsylvania’s nuclear industry. After hosting educational meetings throughout the 2017-2018 Legislative Session to hear expert testimony on topics ranging from clean energy to national security, the Nuclear Energy Caucus (NEC) found that Pennsylvania’s five nuclear plants provide numerous benefits, including:

  • Providing nearly 40% of the Commonwealth’s total electricity production and just over 93% of Pennsylvania’s zero-emissions energy
  • Supporting 16,000 jobs in Pennsylvania and contributing more than $2 billion annually to the Commonwealth’s economy
  • Moderating electricity prices, benefitting Pennsylvania customers by an estimated $788 million per year in the form of lower bills
  • Improving air quality by preventing substantial emissions of C02, S02, and particulate matter
  • Ensuring grid resilience and reliability by providing energy to the grid 24/7

“Promoting and preserving the numerous, important benefits provided to our citizens by the state’s nuclear industry is precisely the reason the Nuclear Energy Caucus was created,” said Representative Matzie.

The NEC also sought to understand the employment, economic, and environmental impacts associated with the premature closures and determine if there are any actions the General Assembly or the Commonwealth should be undertaking to prevent the premature closure of the state’s nuclear plants. Understanding the continued inaction by Congress, the Federal Energy Regulatory Committee (FERC), and regional grid operators such as PJM, states like New York, Illinois, Connecticut, and New Jersey took direct action to prevent the devastating economic, environmental, and consumer impacts associated with losing their state’s nuclear industry.

According to the report, the current federal, regional, and state landscape leaves Pennsylvania with four options to determine the future of Pennsylvania’s nuclear industry:

  1. Do nothing and leave Pennsylvania’s clean energy resources, including its nuclear plants, on a trajectory to early retirement – effectively allowing PJM to dictate the mix of resources serving Pennsylvania.
  2. Modify AEPS (or establish a ZEC program) to put nuclear generation on equal footing with other zero-emission electric generation resources in Pennsylvania.
  3. Modify AEPS (or establish a ZEC program) with a “safety valve” mechanism that (depending on the outcome of the FERC proceeding) would allow Pennsylvania to adopt a new capacity construct proposed by FERC that is designed to accommodate state programs to support preferred generation resources.
  4. Establish a Pennsylvania carbon pricing program.

“It’s clear to me that only some of the report’s options are viable for preventing irreversible harm to Pennsylvania’s communities, economy, and environment associated with losing nuclear power plants. Pennsylvania lawmakers will have to act soon if we want to protect our consumers and the nuclear industry because policymakers and regulators in Washington D.C. have failed to address growing, long-standing flaws in energy markets,” said Representative Corbin.

“Given our state’s prominence in energy production, it is important that lawmakers focus on an inclusive energy policy that promotes and respects the contribution that each resource offers. The NEC looks forward to continuing the dialogue with our colleagues in the General Assembly in the coming weeks and months,” said Senator Yudichak. “But time is not on our side. Pennsylvanians – especially those whose livelihood depends on nuclear energy – are looking to us for action.”

About The Nuclear Energy Caucus

On March 16, 2017, Senators Ryan Aument (R-36) and John Yudichak (D-14) along with Representatives Becky Corbin (R-155) and Rob Matzie (D-16) announced the formation of the Pennsylvania Nuclear Energy Caucus (NEC), a bi-partisan, bi-cameral caucus of Pennsylvania’s General Assembly to focus on nuclear energy issues. The caucus, the first nuclear caucus in a state legislature in the history of the United States, was formed to give members of the General Assembly an opportunity to become more educated about nuclear energy’s economic and environmental value and provide another voice in other important discussions, including electric power reliability, affordability and safety. To date, the caucus has over 79 members and has hosted numerous educational meetings and tours of the Commonwealth’s nuclear facilities, has supported pro-nuclear resolutions in the State Senate and House of Representatives, and has weighed in as a collective body with the regional grid operator, PJM, ad with the U.S. Federal Regulatory Committee.

The full report can be viewed at https://nuclearenergy.pasenategop.com/.

Senator Yudichak and Northpoint Development Host Groundbreaking Ceremony for Hanover 9

Nanticoke, November 1, 2018 – State Senator John Yudichak (D – Luzerne) along with NorthPoint Development Vice President of Economic Development Brent Miles announced today the potential for approximately 1,548 new jobs at a groundbreaking ceremony at the Hanover 9 site co-located in the City of Nanticoke and Hanover Township.

The masterplan for Hanover 9 includes three separate buildings with a total square footage of over 2.3 million. All three buildings are expected to generate approximately 1,548 new jobs with an average salary of $41,000. The total capital investment in Hanover 9 from NorthPoint Development along with the prospective tenants is expected to be over $209.4 million with an annual payroll of approximately $63.4 million.

“The South Valley Corridor is bursting with economic development at an unprecedented pace thanks to the more than $393 million private investment that is being made by NorthPoint Development and its tenants,” said Yudichak.

 

NorthPoint Development is a privately held development firm based in Kansas City. Their focus is on Class A development in the industrial, senior housing and self-storage markets within the central part of the United States. They are currently active in 16 states including: Kansas, Missouri, Texas, Illinois, Tennessee, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Pennsylvania, California, Arizona, Washington, New York, Georgia, and Florida.

“NorthPoint Development is eagerly acquiring new land and constructing new buildings to continue their exceptional job creation model that has already landed national companies like Chewy.com, Adidas, and Patagonia,” said Yudichak.

“NorthPoint continues to expand its footprint in the Luzerne County industrial market and we are pleased to announce our newest park, Hanover 9. This project shows our focus on investing in parks with great access, labor, and a strong public private partnership like we have with the City of Nanticoke and Hanover Township,” said Nathaniel Hagedorn, Founder and CEO of NorthPoint Development. “We always say, ‘capital goes where capital is welcomed’ and we feel very welcomed in Nanticoke and Hanover Township. Hanover 9 represents a large capital investment from our firm, which in turn will create significant job opportunities for the residents of Nanticoke, Hanover Township, and the surrounding area.”

NorthPoint Development began its investment in Luzerne County in 2016 when it initially purchased 172 acres of reclaimed land along the South Valley Parkway, now known as Hanover Ridge. NorthPoint Development’s first investment came shortly after ground was broken on the almost $90 million South Valley Parkway. Construction of the South Valley Parkway is currently ongoing and will likely be finished ahead of schedule in 2019.  

NorthPoint Development’s focus is now on the Hanover 9 site. The Hanover 9 site was also purchased from the Earth Conservancy.

“This sale represents the final piece of the Hanover 9 reclamation story. It took years to complete, working in multiple phases, but with the support of DEP and its Growing Greener program, and the EPA’s Brownfield Cleanup Program, the Earth Conservancy was able to transform the mine-scarred site into a desirable development opportunity,” said Mike Dziak, President/CEO of the Earth Conservancy. “The investment NorthPoint Development has made in the region has been tremendous, the jobs stemming from this new project are significant and the economic impact cannot be denied.”

“Cooperation at all levels of government has led to the creation of more than 4,600 jobs in the South Valley, the construction and near completion of the South Valley Parkway, and the transformation of mine-scarred land into new economic opportunities for the residents of northeastern Pennsylvania,” Yudichak added.

“I am particularly proud of the local partnerships that have been forged among leaders in Luzerne County, Hanover Township, Nanticoke, and their respective school districts, who have embraced NorthPoint Development and their job creating strategies in the South Valley Corridor.”

Representative Gerald Mullery (D- Luzerne) also joined Senator Yudichak at today’s ceremony.

“Today was about progress, hard work, and most importantly economic development. The creation of family sustaining jobs in the Lower South Valley will help make Luzerne County prosper for years to come. I will continue to do what I can to ensure this investment is a success for the future of Luzerne County and Northeastern Pennsylvania,” said Mullery.

 

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