WASHINGTON D.C.: The White House is talking with lawmakers to offer subsidies to the nation’s nuclear power plants, in a nod to expanding nuclear power to ensure meeting U.S. climate goals.
The subsidies would be incorporated into President Joe Biden’s multi-trillion-dollar proposal to invest in the nation’s infrastructure and jobs.
In the United States, wind and solar power producers currently receive tax rebates, tied to the amount of energy they generate.
Earlier, Biden set a goal for the U.S. power industry to be emissions free by 2035. He is also asking Congress to create tax credits aimed at wind, solar and battery manufacturing.
With 90 nuclear reactors, the United States has the most in the world. Also, nuclear power remains the country’s top source of emissions-free power.
However, America’s nuclear power plants have been closing due to their ages, rising security costs and competition from natural gas, wind and solar power.
Without continued nuclear power generation, experts believe Biden’s would be unable to reach his zero-emissions goal.
“There’s a deepening understanding within the administration that it needs nuclear to meet its zero-emission goals,” said a source, according to Reuters.
Of note, New York’s Indian Point nuclear power plant closed its last reactor on April 30. In Illinois, Exelon Corp has said it will close four reactors unless the state provides subsidies.
These nuclear power plants employ thousands of union workers, paying some of the highest salaries in the energy industry.
“We’re racing to cut emissions, create jobs, and shore up local economies — allowing nuclear plants to close sets us back on all three fronts,” said Ryan Fitzpatrick, director of the climate and energy program at the think tank Third Way, as quoted by Reuters.