February 6, 2021

Rachel McDevitt
4801 Lindle Road
Harrisburg, PA 17111
(717) 704-3000 or (800) 366-9483

Dear Rachel:  Thank you for your reporting in the February 4, 2021 story, “Climate change doesn’t get a mention in Wolf’s budget address.”

I particularly appreciated your quote from American Petroleum Institute PA executive director Stephanie Catarino Wissman called the tax “burdensome” and said it would undermine the state’s economic recovery. Asked whether her group is concerned about a transition to a clean energy economy, she said, “You really can’t have renewables without that reliable backup energy source and that is what natural gas is.”

In 2019, the American Petroleum Institute spent millions to successfully prevent the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania from enacting a “Zero Emissions Credit” program for nuclear power plants.
Inside the Gas Industry’s Plan to Sink Nuclear Power,” by Lachlan Markay, April 11, 2019 The Daily Beast. See the API’s own presentation here:  https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/5816918/API-Presentation.pdf.

Californians for Green Nuclear Power, Inc (CGNP) is part of a national coalition of groups that recognize the clean air and reliability value of nuclear power. CGNP filed a complaint with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in late October, 2020 arguing that regional power regulators and California state regulators failed to take into account foreseeable seismic hazards to California’s natural gas transmission system when they approved a plan to voluntarily retire Diablo Canyon Power Plant in 2025. If DCPP is shut down, it will be replaced with fossil-fired electricity, with its attendant harms to the environment. I’ve attached an 11-page brief that summarizes the issues. CGNP highlights how fossil energy is required to back up solar and wind, in accordance with your quote of API’s Pennsylvania Executive Director.

Nuclear Power provides reliability benefits to northeast metropolitan area when they are subject to polar vortices or summer heat waves that tax the ability of the region’s natural gas transmission pipelines – without polluting the air as “dual fuel” power plants that burn fuel oil do.

CGNP can supply considerably more background information.

Gene Nelson, Ph.D.  CGNP Legal Assistant
Californians for Green Nuclear Power, Inc. (CGNP)