Pennsylvania lawmakers continue to struggle with nuclear power issue

Three Mile Island
Photo credit Jeff Fusco/Getty Images

HARRISBURG, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) -- As state budget hearings continue, Pennsylvania lawmakers continue their soul-searching over what – if anything – to do about the imminent closure of nuclear power plants. 

Members of the Public Utility Commission appeared before Senate Appropriations Committee budget hearings. Republican Ryan Aument was among the senators seeking guidance as they mull over propping up the nuclear power industry.

“This has certainly been among the most challenging and complex issues that I’ve been personally involved in," Aument said. "It’s sort of a perfect storm, in the sense that potential solutions are potentially expensive, it’s a complicated issue, it’s urgent.”

Philadelphia Democrat Sharif Street is one senator concerned about losing a low carbon source of electricity.

“I think it’s important for us to figure out a way to include and maintain nuclear in our portfolios," Street said. "We don’t want to exacerbate our problems associated with global warming.”

Low natural gas prices have helped put two Pennsylvania nuclear plants, Three Mile Island and Beaver Valley, on a path for premature shutdown.