Don’t take Millstone nuclear plant for granted
One issue that must be top-of-mind for Connecticut residents is the state’s energy supply – especially maintaining affordable and accessible energy sources that also help us in the fight against climate change.
As a former Environmental Protection Agency administrator, I understand the significant role nuclear energy plants, like the Millstone Power Station in Waterford, play in producing carbon-free energy. To be frank, existing nuclear power is often ignored in discussions about climate change, but the fact is that nuclear power is critical to helping us reduce carbon pollution. A recent study by the Nuclear Energy Institute found that Millstone alone prevents 8.3 million metric tons of carbon emissions from being released annually, which could equate to more than $6 billion in benefits by 2030 from avoided emissions, based on U.S. government calculations.
The bottom line is Americans care about investing in clean, reliable energy. In fact, according to a recent Pew Research Center study, two-thirds of Americans want to prioritize developing alternative energy sources instead of fossil fuels, such as oil and coal. Nuclear plants such as Millstone can reduce our dependency on fossil fuels and complement alternative energy sources to power our future.
The unfortunate reality is that Millstone could be at risk of closure, like other nuclear plants in the northeast, due to challenges in the energy market. The closure of these nuclear plants would be a major blow to the fight against climate change. If Millstone retired prematurely, carbon emissions in the state would increase by 2.2 million metric tons per year, according to a new study from the Analysis Group.
What’s more, the closure of Millstone could negatively impact Connecticut consumers’ wallets. Should Millstone cease to operate, customers could see their electricity bills increase by as much as 21 percent – as indicated by the aforementioned Analysis Group study.
In addition to Millstone’s environmental benefits and ability to decrease energy costs, it’s equally important to note the plant’s economic benefits. Millstone supports 2,737 jobs in Connecticut from its operation and 2,062 as a result of creating lower electricity prices, which stimulates job creation in other parts of the economy.