Brown confirms ‘clean energy’ bill includes nuclear energy

Sen. Sharon Brown, R-Kennewick, said she is disappointed that the clean-energy bill passed by the state Senate today does not specifically list nuclear energy as a source of clean electric power, but encouraged to receive confirmation from the bill’s prime sponsor that the measure in fact includes nuclear energy as part of Washington’s energy future.

Senate Bill 5116 would require electric utilities in the state to eventually phase out some traditional baseload energy supplies, such as coal and natural gas, in favor of non-emitting resources by 2045. Nuclear energy does not produce greenhouse gases as a byproduct of electricity generation.

“I am very proud that the electricity portfolio in the 8th Legislative District is already at 96 percent clean energy, which is due in large part to nuclear and hydroelectric generation. And while I was unable to amend legislation in the Senate, I am encouraged by the bill sponsor’s acknowledgement that the legislative intent is to include nuclear energy as a resource that Washington will be relying upon as a cornerstone of our electric system for decades to come.

“Nuclear power is a critical part of the supply of solid, stable baseload power in Washington. In fact, during the recent snow storm, our governor relied on the Columbia Generating Station as a reliable source of baseload nuclear energy. I am proud that the 8th Legislative District is the home of reliable baseload energy that will continue to power Washington.”