Should the commonwealth of Pennsylvania provide extra funding to keep Three Mile Island and potentially other nuclear power plants in Pennsylvania operating?
It depends on whether you believe in the human cause of climate change or not. The commonwealth has been willing to provide subsidies for wind and solar generation, even though their record for providing electricity is erratic and often poor. What do we do if the wind isn’t blowing or when we have low levels of sunlight in the winter?
But there is one source of electricity that doesn’t emit carbon dioxide but is very reliable, and that is nuclear power. Coal is the worst offender when it comes to climate change, and, although natural gas emits half or less per kilowatt than coal, recent studies of methane leakage related to natural gas shows that it is just about as bad as coal when it comes to climate change. But natural gas is very cheap right now, so nuclear power, which is still a very good value compared to the cost of coal-generated electricity, is more expensive than the cost of electricity produced from natural gas.
The reason for providing government support for renewables is because we fear the consequences of climate change. So why not treat nuclear power the same way and continue to get its benefits, which includes not only reliable electricity, but good high-paying jobs and support for schools and roads in the local communities. The legislature should be willing to pay for these benefits.
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Edward H. Klevans,