NARUC wants EPA to give more credit to nuclear power

The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) wants the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to recognize the importance of keeping existing nuclear power plants operating in order to curb the growth of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

It’s one of the key resolutions passed by the NARUC committee as a whole during the organization’s annual meeting in San Francisco. The list of resolutions was issued Nov. 19.

During the annual meeting, NARUC also elected Lisa Edgar of the Florida Public Service Commission as the new NARUC president. President Edgar succeeds outgoing NARUC President Colette Honorable of Arkansas, whose one-year term expired Nov. 20.

At the top of its resolutions, NARUC urged EPA, to the extent it regulates carbon, that it adopt final regulations that “encourage states to preserve, life-extend, and expand existing nuclear generation.”

NARUC also asked EPA to amend the manner in which it calculates the benefits of nuclear power in its Clean Power Plan. EPA should “remove the generic 6 percent at-risk nuclear and nuclear under construction from the calculation of State-specific emissions targets; to the extent the EPA regulates carbon from existing power plants under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act, that States may include in compliance plans and thus receive emissions credit related to all output of new nuclear capacity (including uprates of existing plants) that begins operating after the issuance date of the proposed rule.”

Nuclear power plants provide about 20% of the nation’s electric generation and also helped maintain reliability during the much-discussed polar vortex of last winter, NARUC said in its resolution.

“The United States Department of Energy, grid operators, and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) commissioners have cautioned that the premature shutdown of nuclear power plants could jeopardize both the nation’s electric reliability and the ability to timely address climate change,” NARUC said in the resolution.

 

 

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.