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Groups oppose “massive new subsidy” for nuclear industry in tax extenders

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A coalition of over 60 local, state and national environmental groups today voiced their disapproval of a proposed bailout of the nation’s nuclear power industry.

In a letter sent to the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees, the groups called on Congressional tax writers to oppose an industry-backed proposal to subsidize existing reactors with a new 30 percent tax credit. Specifically, the letter urges that this tax credit be excluded from a potential extenders package expected this Fall.

A recent analysis indicates that the nuclear industry proposal would cost the treasury $23 billion in lost revenue. Separately, the indirect cost to ratepayers would be $33 billion over 20 years, as regular consumers shoulder the burden of aging, uneconomic reactors.

“Sticking taxpayers with an astronomical bill to bailout the failing nuclear industry is simply unconscionable,” said Lukas Ross, senior policy analyst at Friends of the Earth. “Nuclear power doesn’t deserve another subsidy. This dirty tax credit has no place in a clean energy package.”

“We have a chance right now to expand and extend tax incentives for clean renewable energy like wind and solar and even more nascent industries like energy storage, offshore wind, and electric vehicles,” said Matthew Davis, the League of Conservation Voters’ legislative director. “The nuclear industry already gets billions in subsidies, and has for decades, and we cannot take our eyes off the ball of advancing renewable energy for a 100% clean energy future.”

“Taxpayer subsidies for nuclear power make as much sense as trying to revive the whale-oil industry,” said Grant Smith, senior energy policy advisor at the Environmental Working group. “After six decades of throwing hundreds of billions of dollars at a fundamentally flawed and dangerous technology, we should have learned our lesson. Instead, the government should be investing in clean, safe, money-saving renewable energy.”

“Creating a new subsidy for old nuclear reactors is wasteful and counterproductive,” said Tim Judson, executive director of the Nuclear Information and Resource Service. “Wind and solar are now the most cost-effective electricity sources, yet nuclear power has only gotten more and more expensive over the decades. It’s time to stop shoveling taxpayer dollars into a nuclear pit, and put our money to work building the clean, safe, healthy energy economy this country needs.”

The national signers include: Friends of the Earth, National Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, League of Conservation Voters, Clean Water Action, Food and Water Watch Action, Environmental Working Group, Greenpeace, Center for Biological Diversity, Environment America and Nuclear Information and Resource Service. 

Contacts: Patrick Davis, Friends of the Earth, (202) 222-0744, pdavis@foe.org

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