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Losing TMI would devastate Lower Dauphin community: Robert K. Schultz

Posted 3/13/19

I strongly urge state legislators to support legislation being introduced in the Senate and House that would add nuclear energy as a qualifying resource to Pennsylvania’s Alternative Energy …

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Losing TMI would devastate Lower Dauphin community: Robert K. Schultz

Posted

I strongly urge state legislators to support legislation being introduced in the Senate and House that would add nuclear energy as a qualifying resource to Pennsylvania’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard, also known as AEPS.

Failing to do so will result in the closing of Three Mile Island this September and will have negative consequences statewide, with the most immediate being in my school district and central Pennsylvania. Without reforms, communities like ours will be impacted in the years to come with other nuclear power plant closings. 

If TMI closes, every resident in our 90 square mile school district will be impacted. The plant generates more than $700,000 a year in tax revenue for the Lower Dauphin School District. Without that revenue, we will have no choice but to raise taxes for the first time in a decade and cut programs and future investments in facilities. Obviously for the sake of our residents and students, we prefer not do either.

In addition to its tax revenue, TMI has been one of our strongest and most supportive partners in our community. Over the past 10 years, the plant has contributed more than $150,000 to the Lower Dauphin Communities That Care bookmobile, a mobile library that provides educational programs and books to underserved areas of our community. When we need support for our STEM program, we can always count on TMI and its employees to provide volunteers hours and resources to help students attend national competitions or conferences. These relationships are critical to the effectiveness of all districts, and we are grateful to have TMI in our community.

Many TMI employees live in our school district, have children attending schools in our district, and pay school taxes. They shop at our local businesses, their children play on our sports teams, and they contribute to the fabric of our community. We want to keep them here.   

In their co-sponsor memos, Rep. Tom Mehaffie and  Sens. Ryan Aument and Mike Folmer detailed how allowing Pennsylvania’s nuclear power plants to succumb to failed energy market policies will cost Pennsylvanians $4.6 billion annually. 

That impacts every Pennsylvanian, but on a local level, the closing will be a devastating loss for our Lower Dauphin community. As a school superintendent, I feel obligated to warn of the deleterious impact of TMI’s closure and urge state leaders to work together to prevent such a loss to our community.

Dr. Robert K. Schultz is superintendent of the Lower Dauphin School District.