Nuclear would receive federal assistance under Kinzinger’s legislation

U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) on Aug. 6 sponsored a bipartisan bill that would direct the U.S. Secretary of Energy to establish a civil nuclear credit program. 

“This legislation is an important measure to save and support nuclear power,” Rep. Kinzinger said. “There is simply too much at stake for my constituents to not take action, and I will continue to explore every possible option.”

The Preserving Existing Nuclear Energy Generation Act, H.R. 4960, which Rep. Kinzinger introduced with lead original cosponsor U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA), would create a process under which bids would be evaluated via auctions and select certified nuclear reactors would be allocated credits to ensure that they are kept online to provide reliable, resilient and clean energy. The measure also would authorize funding for nuclear closure communities, according to information provided by Rep. Kinzinger’s staff.  

“The Preserving Existing Nuclear Energy Generation Act is designed to help save nuclear plants that are on the chopping block… by providing financial credits through the Department of Energy,” explained Rep. Kinzinger. “It would also help the local communities most impacted by these closures by providing resources to preserve essential services.” 

The congressman noted that nuclear — which he called “the greatest source of zero-emission bulk power in this country” — has been slowly decimated over the past decade.

“Now, two nuclear plants in my district, Byron and Dresden, are scheduled to be taken offline in the coming weeks,” said Rep. Kinzinger. “While I support a state’s right to determine its own energy portfolio, I will continue to seek a solution at the federal level as Illinois leadership fails to rise to the occasion and the seriousness of the situation.” 

According to Rep. Kinzinger’s office, H.R. 4960 is the companion bill to certain provisions included in the U.S. Senate infrastructure package — formally known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

Also on Aug. 6, Rep. Kinzinger signed on as a cosponsor of the bipartisan, bicameral Zero-Emission Nuclear Power Production Credit Act of 2021, H.R. 4024 / S. 2291, which would establish a tax credit for the production of electricity using nuclear power, according to the text of the bill.