What to look for on Smart Talk Wednesday, January 17, 2018:
The Three Mile Island nuclear plant may be closer to shutting down after a ruling by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last week. FERC rejected a plan by the Trump Administration that could have helped nuclear and coal plants financially.
The plan would have forced grid operators to guarantee “full recovery of costs” plus “a fair rate of return” to power plants that can keep 90 days of fuel on-site (according to StateImpact Pennsylvania). Only coal and nuclear plants can do that.
Nuclear and coal plants have found it hard to compete with inexpensive and abundant natural gas.
TMI’s owner has plans to close the facility 20 months from now unless another resource is found, including aid from the state. TMI employs 675 people.
On Wednesday’s Smart Talk, we hear from Republican State Senator Ryan Aument, who is part of a nuclear power caucus in the legislature.
Meanwhile, a group formed in response to efforts to keeping nuclear plants operating with government help. The Citizens Against Nuclear Bailouts Coalition obviously opposes propping nuclear power up in Pennsylvania.
Carl Marrara, is with the Citizens Against Nuclear Bailouts Coalition and is Vice President of Government Affairs at the Pennsylvania Manufacturers Association. he also is with us.
Also, the federal government could shut down later this week or next month unless Democrats and Republicans in Congress and the Trump Administration reach agreement on several issues, including DACA – the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
The Obama era initiative temporarily protected immigrants who came to the United States illegally as minors from being deported. President Trump has said he would end the program unless a solution was agreed to. Republicans want to make DACA part of a larger immigration policy that includes Trump’s promise to build a wall along the southern border.
Dr. Jill Family, Commonwealth Professor of Law and Government and Director, Law and Government Institute at Widener University Commonwealth Law School joins us on the program.