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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Bonnen Bill Extending Licensing Program for STP passes House

Insiders Report

Vol. 9 No. 8

Today, the Texas House took an important step for our community and state by passing my bill, HB 994. HB 994 continues the state's nuclear decommissioning program by another 20 years, which enables the South Texas Project in Matagorda County to continue its efforts to obtain licenses for reactors three and four.

The proposed construction of a two-unit nuclear generation site in Matagorda County alone could create approximately 4,000 to 6,000 construction jobs, including approximately 4,500 craft personnel such as pipefitters and electricians, and when the reactors are finished and online, each unit will employ close to 1,000 permanent operating staff positions.

Beyond our local plant site in Matagorda County, a study by the Perryman Group concluded that the two new nuclear units at the South Texas Project could create more than $9 billion of economic activity for the entire state. That equals more than 5,500 new permanent jobs statewide -- a multiplier of 6-7 jobs off-site for every new permanent operating job created on-site. That means Bay City and Matagorda County will have a significant economic impact statewide.

Texans today are served by an electric generation system that boasts a diverse resource base – fossil fuels, renewable sources, and nuclear generation as a hedge against regulatory and economic swings.  Future Texans deserve to enjoy those same benefits. My bill goes a long way to ensure Texas maintains the opportunity for a broad range of energy sources.

HB 994 now goes to the Senate for consideration. I know my good friend and colleague Senator Glen Hegar, who has already brought his Senate companion of this bill before the Senate Business and Commerce committee, is ready to advance this bill through the Senate and on to Governor Perry's desk.