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Kinzinger Continues Fighting to Save Nuclear Communities

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Washington, DC, August 10, 2021 | Maura Gillespie (202-225-3635) | comments
Last week, Congressmen Adam Kinzinger (IL-16) and Mike Doyle (PA-18) introduced legislation to establish a financial credit program for certain civil nuclear power plants and authorize funding for “nuclear closure communities.”
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Washington, DC – Last week, Congressmen Adam Kinzinger (IL-16) and Mike Doyle (PA-18) introduced legislation to establish a financial credit program for certain civil nuclear power plants and authorize funding for “nuclear closure communities.”  The bipartisan Preserving Existing Nuclear Energy Generation Act (H.R. 4960) is the House companion to certain provisions found in a Senate proposal which was reported favorably by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on July 14 and subsequently included in the Senate infrastructure package—formally known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

On introducing this legislation, Reps. Kinzinger and Doyle released the following statements:

Over the past decade, the greatest source of zero-emission bulk power in this country has been slowly decimated. Now, two nuclear plants in my district, Byron and Dresden, are scheduled to be taken offline in the coming weeks. While I support a State’s right to determine its own energy portfolio, I will continue to seek a solution at the federal level as Illinois leadership fails to rise to the occasion and the seriousness of the situation,” said Congressman Kinzinger (R-IL).The Preserving Existing Nuclear Energy Generation Act is designed to help save nuclear plants that are on the chopping block—including those in our backyard—by providing financial credits through the Department of Energy. It would also help the local communities most impacted by these closures by providing resources to preserve essential services. This legislation is an important measure to save and support nuclear power, and I thank my Senate colleagues for their leadership and to my friend Congressman Doyle for partnering with me on this effort. There is simply too much at stake for my constituents to not take action, and I will continue to explore every possible option.”

Nuclear power is the largest producer of carbon-free energy in Pennsylvania, but too many nuclear plants are at risk of closing because the market doesn’t account for the fact that the energy they produce is carbon free,” said Congressman Doyle (D-PA). This bill would ensure that nuclear power plants that are struggling against cheap natural gas have a more even playing field. This bipartisan legislation would ensure that nuclear power plants, which are not only vital in the fight against climate change, but provide good paying jobs in their communities for decades, can continue to provide clean energy.”

Congressman Kinzinger also agreed to cosponsor H.R. 4024, the bipartisan Zero-Emission Nuclear Power Production Credit Act, introduced by Rep. Bill Pascrell (NJ-09) last week. This legislation would provide a federal production tax credit to existing civil nuclear plants based on energy generation output. For the full text of H.R. 4024, you can find that on the Congressman’s website here. And for the full text of H.R. 4960, please see the attached PDF, which can also be found on the Congressman’s website here.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Congressman Kinzinger had planned to reintroduce this legislation (and cosponsor H.R. 4024) earlier this year but made a strategic decision to wait while state lawmakers in Springfield attempted to negotiate a package that would prevent the closures of Byron and Dresden. His office had concerns that taking action during the negotiations might cause some state officials to delay or abandon talks in the hopes that Congress would provide a solution instead, which proved to be an accurate assumption.

The H.R. 4960 legislation is an updated version of a bill also introduced by Reps. Kinzinger and Doyle in December 2020 bearing the same name (H.R. 9015). The two versions are largely the same in scope and intent, but the new version moves the financial credit program from the Environmental Protection Agency to the Department of Energy. The primary reasons for this change are that the Department of Energy has more experience with administering these types of programs, and because mirroring the Senate’s preferences increases the chances of swift enactment of the legislation.



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