New legislation aims to help existing nuclear power

Report on an article posted at Daily Energy Insider by Liz Carey

In late June, a group of pro-nuclear U.S. senators introduced legislation to level the playing field for nuclear on eligibility for the tax credits being proposed for wind operators. Senators Tom Carper (D-DE), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Cory Booker (D-NJ) introduced the Zero-Emission Nuclear Power Production Credit Act of 2021 would make the nuclear plant eligible for the $15 per megawatt tax credit for zero-emission power productions.

Nuclear reactors provide a fifth of the country’s electricity and well over half of all the emission-free energy across the nation. As such they are a crucial component of our clean energy grid and critical in our fight against climate change.  Yet, in recent years, many existing nuclear power plants have been forced into premature closures due to market forces resulting from gluts of cheap natural gas (that does not pay for its emissions) and from political maneuverings by politicians, like New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, with agendas to curry support from both progressive democrats and fossil fuel donors. For these cynical operators, shutting nuclear is a political win, even if it is a disaster for climate.

According to the Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources website, this bill will also help nuclear facitilities compete with fossil fuel polluters, some of which enjoy a $600 billion subsidy in the U.S., despite the fact that their products are driving the planet towards dangerous climate tipping points.  “Nuclear energy is an important piece of the puzzle as we race against the clock to reduce carbon emissions and address climate change,” according to Senator booker.  “The production tax credit in this legislations will help keep our existing fleet of nuclear reactors safely oerating, and needs to be included in comprehensive climate change legislation this year.

To learn more, read Daily Energy Insider’s Democratic senators introduce legislation extending production tax credit for zero emissions nuclear plants, by Liz Carey, June 28, 2021.