Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Bill Would Create Commission To Review, Approve Coal, Nuclear Power Plant Closures

Rep. Rob Matzie (D-Allegheny) Tuesday announced he will introduce legislation to create a commission to review the potential adverse impacts of deactivating coal and nuclear power plants before making a decision on whether those plants should close.
Rep. Matzie, one of four co-chairs of the House Senate Nuclear Energy Caucus, said the proposed commission would make decisions on deactivations only after hearing from state and local government officials, affected employees, business owners and other stakeholders.
“Over the last several years, we have witnessed the closing of a record number of Pennsylvania-based coal and nuclear electric plants,” Rep. Matzie said. “But no entity exists to examine the negative impacts ahead of time. These closings affect local economies, they affect electric reliability and they affect the environment.
“What’s worse, there’s no requirement to give any sort of notice to the workers whose livelihoods are changed forever by the decision to close. We need to have a level of input and oversight,” he added.
This legislation would provide employee protections such as minimum requirements for severance payments and the continuation of health care benefits. So it is not just industry focused, but worker focused as well.”
Rep. Matzie said the proposed legislation also would require the owner of a coal fired plant to remediate the facility and the surrounding area in order to receive approval to deactivate.
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