Last week, Reps. Adam Kinzinger (R., Ill.) and Mike Doyle (D., Pa.) introduced legislation that would establish a financial credit program for economically challenged nuclear power plants and would authorize funding for “nuclear closure communities.”
The Preserving Existing Nuclear Energy Generation Act (H.R. 4960) is the House companion to certain provisions in a Senate proposal that was reported favorably by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on July 14 and was subsequently included in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the $1.2 trillion bipartisan package that the Senate passed earlier this week via a 69–30 vote.
New and improved: H.R. 4960 is an updated version of a bill introduced by Kinzinger and Doyle in December 2020. The two versions are largely the same in scope and intent, but the new version moves the financial credit program from the Environmental Protection Agency to the Department of Energy. According to an August 10 press release from Kinzinger, the primary reasons for this change are that the DOE has more experience with administering these types of programs and that mirroring the Senate’s preferences increases the chances of the legislation’s swift enactment.
Kinzinger zings Illinois: “Over the past decade, the greatest source of zero-emission bulk power in this country has been slowly decimated,” Kinzinger said. “Now, two nuclear plants in my district, Byron and Dresden, are scheduled to be taken off line in the coming weeks. While I support a state’s right to determine its own energy portfolio, I will continue to seek a solution at the federal level, as Illinois leadership fails to rise to the occasion and the seriousness of the situation.”
Noteworthy: On August 6, Kinzinger added his name to the list of cosponsors for H.R. 4024, the Zero-Emission Nuclear Power Production Credit Act, introduced by Rep. Bill Pascrell (D., N.J.) on June 21. This legislation would provide a federal production tax credit to existing civil nuclear plants based on energy generation output.