Michiganders beware: Gov. Whitmer’s push for a last-minute federal bailout to keep the Palisades nuclear power plant from closing could backfire, increasing your utility bills, and possibly even costing thousands of jobs around the state. This would be a massive failure for climate, consumers, communities, and the environment.
Last week, the governor announced she is in a last-minute scramble to try to prevent the closure of Palisades next month, which has been planned since 2017. Whitmer says she has been in discussions with the nuclear plant’s owner, Entergy, and the US Department of Energy to take advantage of a $6 billion bailout program created by the bipartisan infrastructure law enacted last year.
Gov. Whitmer could make a big mistake. The truth is that no one is going to take over Palisades and continue running it without Michiganders footing the bill. The governor should use her authority to ramp up wind, solar, and energy efficiency--reducing electricity bills and creating thousands of jobs around the state. She has a duty to make sure the community and workers at Palisades land on their feet, help save the climate, and transition Michigan to an affordable, sustainable future with good jobs in the new energy economy.
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA or the Act) directs the Secretary of Energy (Secretary) to establish a Civil Nuclear Credit (CNC) Program to evaluate and certify nuclear reactors that are projected to cease operations due to economic factors and to allocate credits to selected certified nuclear reactors via a sealed bid process.
Under the law, to be eligible to receive credits, nuclear reactors must meet three criteria:
Bulletin of Atomic Scientists: A $6 billion bailout for US nuclear power plants?