EPA criticized for favoring solar and wind at detriment of Tennessee nuclear industry

EPA favors solar and wind at detriment of Tennessee nuclear industry
EPA favors solar and wind at detriment of Tennessee nuclear industry | Courtesy of wikimedia.org

At a hearing Thursday about the president’s 2016 fiscal year budget request for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) said the EPA plan favors solar and wind power to an extent that will harm Tennessee’s nuclear power industry and economy.

Favoring solar and wind energy so drastically in comparison with the nuclear power industry penalizes both states and companies. This is because the companies will find it increasingly difficult to keep rates low for electricity. Some of those that will be impacted is the state of Tennessee and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA).

Alexander and other political and national leaders have said that the EPA should provide states and utilities with the proper credit to guarantee investments in the nuclear power industry. These credit investments would help the nuclear power plants to meet the new emissions standards proposed by the EPA.

“60 percent of our country’s carbon-free, emission-free electricity comes from nuclear power,” Alexander said. “Yet, when we’re developing a clean air plan in Tennessee under the regulations in the Obama administration’s proposed Clean Power Plan, we don’t get credit for investing in nuclear power. What we have in our state are utilities – such as TVA – that are doing a terrific job of cleaning up coal plants, building nuclear plants, and utilizing hydropower plants, but are being penalized because EPA is preferring wind and solar, which produce very little electricity, over nuclear, which produces over 60 percent of our clean electricity. It’s the energy equivalent of going to war in sailboats when the nuclear Navy’s available.”

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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 1200 Pennsylvania Ave NW Washington, DC - 20460

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