Series of public hearings begin regarding a bill to keep Three Mile Island open

HARRISBURG, Pa.-- A series of public hearings are scheduled to begin on Monday in Harrisburg, regarding Three Mile Island and the four other nuclear power plants in Pennsylvania.

Three Mile Island is set to close in September, and some state lawmakers are trying to make sure that doesn't happen, which brings us to House Bill 11.

House Bill 11 is a new bill that supports TMI, as well as the four other nuclear power plants in Pennsylvania. House Bill 11 would add Three Mile Island to the list of renewable energy sources that utility companies are required to purchase their energy from.

Officials say the five PA nuclear power plants help keep electricity prices low and also account for 16,000 jobs -- which is one of the many reasons Republican Representative, Tom Mehaffie is pushing for this to pass.

“We have something special here. We have something that is a carbon free generator of electricity, and we really need to recognize why we should do that, because they have such a great environmental attribute,” said Mehaffie.

He introduced the bill, and says nuclear energy needs to be added to the Pennsylvania Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards.

Those who oppose the legislation say its a bailout that would benefit private companies that own nuclear power plants.

Mehaffie estimates the bill would cost an average of 500-million dollars a year and would increase electric bills for consumers by $1.77 per month. However, he says electric bills would go up by $2.39 a month it TMI closes. In recent years TMI has lost a lot of money, so if this legislation is not passed, it will close fr good in September.

Similar legislation has been approved in other states including-- New York, Illinois, Connecticut, and New Jersey.

Mondays hearing is scheduled for 11:00 a.m., at the Capitol building.
The other hearings are scheduled for:
April 29, at 12:00 p.m.
May, 6 at 11:00 a.m.
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