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Stephanie Catarino Wissman's Pennsylvania nuclear bailout poll opening statement

Press call statement
Stephanie Catarino Wissman, API Pennsylvania Executive Director
Press call to release results of nuclear bailout poll
August 16, 2017

(As prepared for delivery)

Good Morning, and thank you for joining today’s call. My name is Stephanie Catarino Wissman, and I am the executive director of API Pennsylvania.

Despite the fact that half of the voters across the state think electricity prices are too high, some are asking legislators in Harrisburg to force Pennsylvania consumers to pay a special fee to bail out nuclear power companies.

In a recent poll, voters across the state spoke loud and clear: 84 percent said they were opposed to a legislative proposal charging electric customers a special fee to increase funding to Exelon’s nuclear plants in the state. 

And a majority of voters oppose this idea regardless of party affiliation: Democrats 84 percent, Republicans 85 percent, and Independents 89 percent.

What’s more, the majority of voters across the state believe electricity prices will be lower with competition, NOT intervention by the government.

And they’re right. According to reports, the average American household saved as much as $1337 due to lower utility costs and other energy-related savings from the shale gas revolution in 2015. And lower energy prices are helping bring manufacturing back to states like Pennsylvania.

And that’s not all. In 2015, the natural gas industry supported nearly 178,100 Pennsylvania jobs and contributed $24.5 billion to the state’s economy. Picking winners and losers in the electricity markets by providing bailouts to nuclear power at the expense of Pennsylvania consumers would diminish the benefits that clean-burning natural gas has brought to Pennsylvania workers and consumers. Also, bailing out nuclear power companies sets a dangerous precedent and would deny Pennsylvania consumers, workers and the environment the benefits of affordable and reliable natural gas.

Moving forward, the legislature should reject any measure that could raise costs for consumers and hurt workers across the state.

With that, I will turn it back to Mike and take a few questions.