HARRISBURG, PA—Hundreds of union members rallied in Harrisburg, PA on Monday to voice concern regarding the likely closure of two of the state’s five nuclear power plants.
The nuclear power companies that own the facilities had been asking the state add to nuclear energy to Pennsylvania’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard — a 2004 law mandating utilities buy power from certain clean and alternative energy sources, like wind and solar, according to WITF.org.
Without action, Dauphin County’s Three Mile Island will be closed later this year. Then, in 2021, Beaver Valley Power Station near Pittsburgh will also shut down.
“The nuclear industry supports 16,000 jobs. However, we have reached a critical moment for Pennsylvania’s nuclear energy industry,” said Senator Ryan Aument, Pennsylvania Nuclear Energy Caucus.
The rally was coordinated by the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO, the Pennsylvania Building and Construction Trades Council and Nuclear Powers PA, according to a union press release.
“Working families across Pennsylvania depend on the 16,000 jobs that are created in the nuclear power industry. We cannot let corporate special interests and alarmist rhetoric set Pennsylvania back decades in energy production. We must protect the livelihoods of thousands of working people and preserve our Commonwealth’s access to reliable and clean energy,” remarked Pennsylvania AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Frank Snyder.
“Even while we continue to safely operate Three Mile Island at industry-leading levels, we have a responsibility to prepare the plant, along with our community and our employees, for decommissioning,” Three Mile Island’s Site Vice President Edward Callan said in early April. “At the same time, we are actively engaged with stakeholders and policymakers on a solution to preserve Pennsylvania’s nuclear facilities and the clean, reliable energy and good-paying jobs they provide … However, time is not on our side.”