"Energy Policy: Advanced Nuclear Bill Raises Bailout Fears"

"A provision in bipartisan legislation to bolster the commercialization of advanced nuclear technologies is causing fears that it may provide a backdoor financial lifeline for existing coal and nuclear plants through 40-year federal power purchase agreements.

The issue, raised by Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) during a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee markup this morning, throws a bit of a hurdle into the bill's progress, although key lawmakers all expressed a willingness to work through the issue.

S. 903 by Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) was one of 22 pieces of legislation, much of which aims to boost clean energy development, that cleared the committee during a massive markup that highlighted the first energy policy measures the panel sends to the Senate floor (E&E Daily, July 15).

For Hirono, the advanced nuclear bill's provisions could be interpreted as being similar to ideas put forth by the Trump administration to throw financial lifelines to uneconomic coal and nuclear plants struggling in the face of cheaper natural gas, flat demand and renewable energy."

Jeremy Dillon reports for Greenwire July 16, 2019.

Source: Greenwire, 07/17/2019