WASHINGTON, D.C.—The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (www.naruc.org) recently passed a resolution opposing the U.S. Department of Energy’s attempt to impose a $2.4 billion tax on consumers of electricity from nuclear energy facilities. This 10-year, $2 billion tax would be used for cleanup of the federal government’s DOE uranium enrichment facilities in Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee. The operators of nuclear power plants and their customers have paid their share of funds for decommissioning of these facilities. “Whereas, (n)uclear utilities and their customers already have paid twice for Decommissioning and Decontamination, all as specified by law … U.S. nuclear electric utilities and their customers should not be singled out yet again to pay for D&D of DOE facilities developed for nuclear weapons and national defense programs,” the resolution states. Following is a statement from the Nuclear Energy Institute’s Alex Flint, senior vice president of governmental affairs, regarding the NARUC resolution.
“The NARUC board of directors is taking the right step for consumers in opposing the administration’s proposed tax on electric utilities and their customers for activities that they already paid for. It is the federal government, not the private sector, that has failed to fulfill its responsibilities for this important environmental protection program. The nuclear energy industry applauds the utility commissioners for taking this stand in defense of electricity consumers.
“The industry and its customers long ago met their obligation under a 1992 law, paying $2.6 billion for enrichment services purchased from the federal government prior to 1992. This amount included the future cost of shutdown and cleanup of the facilities. We support the proper decommissioning of these sites and have demonstrated that commitment through the paid assessment into the fund that now has a balance of more than $4 billion.
“We applaud the NARUC board for its courage in challenging the federal leviathan on this issue of fairness.”