'Staying Nuclear'?: Legal Challenges to State Subsidies for Aging Nuclear Power Plants and Related FERC Actions [March 26, 2021] [open pdf - 650KB]
From the Document: "Nuclear power plants can produce large amounts of electricity with relatively low greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, potentially assisting the United States in reducing such emissions. But the U.S. nuclear power industry faces a number of challenges [hyperlink], including high operating and maintenance costs; aging plants; competition from natural gas and renewable energy sources; and lawsuits from labor and environmental groups, among others. According to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 21 nuclear power reactors are currently undergoing decommissioning [hyperlink] in the United States; two reactors [hyperlink] are currently under construction. The federal government provides some financial support [hyperlink] to the nuclear energy industry in the form of tax credits and other measures. But states have also increasingly sought to subsidize nuclear power plants that operate within their jurisdictions to preserve existing nuclear generation capacity and the jobs and tax base they provide to local communities. [...] This Legal Sidebar examines key recent circuit court decisions related to state subsidization of the nuclear power industry and litigation against the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)'s subsequent orders expanding the Minimum Offer Price Rule (MOPR) in the PJM [Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Maryland] Interconnection."
CRS Legal Sidebar, LSB10585
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/