Three Mile Island power plant to close in 2019

In mid-February, the Electric Power Supply Association, Dynegy, Eastern Generation, NRG Energy, and Calpine Corp. filed a federal lawsuit against the State of IL, challenging its nuclear subsidies too.

"Like New York and IL before it, the commonwealth has an opportunity to take a leadership role by implementing a policy solution to preserve its nuclear energy facilities and the clean, reliable energy and good-paying jobs they provide", Crane said.

Crane then made an appeal for Pennsylvania to bail out nuclear power in the state, second only IL in the number of nuclear plants.

Last year, natural gas generated 33.8% of the electricity in the USA, according to federal data.

The station pays more than $1 million in state property taxes.

But the state Nuclear Energy Caucus will face stiff opposition from the natural gas lobby, according to Pourreza. "What we do support is putting a price on carbon". Wolf said in a statement Tuesday that he is concerned about layoffs at Three Mile Island and open to discussions. Nearly 700 people were set to be laid off as the plant shuts down.

Chicago-based Exelon has maintained a regional headquarters in Baltimore since buying Constellation Energy Group and Baltimore Gas and Electric 2012.

Three Mile Island - which experienced a partial reactor meltdown in 1979, spawning nationwide protests - will shut in 2019.

An estimated 140,000 people were evacuated and cleanup lasted until the 1990s. Small amounts of radiation escaped, though no injuries were reported.

State Senator Ryan Aument, a member of the nuclear caucus whose district is near the plant, didn't immediately return a call seeking comment.

At least four other states are considering similar policies to provide additional revenue to keep their reactors in service, including Connecticut, New Jersey, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

The outlook for nuclear plants has since dimmed.

The short-term nature of deregulated electricity markets have left other United States nuclear power plants at risk of premature closure for economic reasons, despite their long-term future and their potential contribution to achieving greenhouse gas emissions targets.

He added that is more of a short-term fix rather than the longer-term solution that Pennsylvania needs to address its power generation system. Meanwhile, electricity consumption hit a wall after the recession, while states have emphasized renewable energies and efficiency. Proximity to fresh natural gas seams is part of why the conversation around the decline of nuclear power seems centered in the Northeast - CBS notes that the region is home to the Marcellus Shale reservoir, which it describes as "the nation's most prolific gas field".

The nuclear power industry has been hurt financially by a natural gas boom fueled by a rise in fracking.

So Tuesday's announcement about Three Mile Island smacks of "posturing", Shahriar Pourreza, a New York-based analyst for Guggenheim Securities, said by phone Tuesday.

Nuclear power plants around the US have been struggling in recent years to compete with generating stations that burn plentiful and low-priced natural gas to produce electricity.

But Calvert Cliffs has never failed to capture the prices and electricity load it offers in the auctions, Adams said, an indication that the plant remains economically strong.

It's unclear whether Exelon actually intends to close Three Mile Island, or if its announcement is designed as something of a threat to force the state of Pennsylvania to deliver an operating subsidy. The company had warned last week the plant was at risk of early retirement. NY and IL have both approved subsidies to keep nuclear plants in their state afloat, but the move can be controversial because it raises prices for customers.

Environmentalists oppose extending the incentives renewable sources obtain to nuclear, because unlike solar, wind, and water, the former is not sustainable.

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