2014 countdown: Wolf's plan for energy industry & TMI anniversary | StateImpact Pennsylvania Skip Navigation

2014 countdown: Wolf's plan for energy industry & TMI anniversary

Thirty-five years have passed since the nation’s worst nuclear accident– Three Mile Island. In our sixth most popular web story of 2014*, former Pennsylvania Governor Dick Thornburgh takes a look back at the lessons learned.
A big question occupies fifth place on our end-of-year countdown: how will Governor-elect Tom Wolf handle two of the most important and contentious issues in Pennsylvania– energy and the environment?
6. Three Mile Island: 35 years later

Three Mile Island was the most serious accident in U.S. commercial nuclear power plant operating history.

Joe Ulrich / WITF

Three Mile Island was the most serious accident in U.S. commercial nuclear power plant operating history.


On March 28th, 1979 one of the reactors at the The┬áThree Mile Island nuclear power plant in Dauphin County partially melted down.┬áBack then, no one knew exactly what was going to happen.┬áThe incident was unprecedented. Former governor Thornburgh says he’s still troubled the United States doesn’t have a plan about where to take its nuclear waste.
Update:┬áThe license for the still-operational Unit 1 reactor expires in 20 years.┬áAt that point, both reactors will be dismantled together, over a 10 year period. Plans call for a full restoration of the site by 2054 ÔÇö 75 years after the accident.
 
5. What Wolf’s win means for energy and the environment
Gov.-elect Tom Wolf.

Gov.-elect Tom Wolf.


Democratic governor-elect Tom Wolf will take office in January. StateImpact Pennsylvania reporter Susan Phillips takes a look at his energy policy plans. Wolf campaigned on imposing a five percent severance tax on gas drillers. He says at current production levels this could bring in $1 billion. The gas industry– which is fighting the tax– disputes that figure. Wolf also supports continuing the moratorium on fracking in the the Delaware River Basin, and he’s expected to reinstate a Rendell-era moratorium on new leasing in state parks and forests. Unlike Corbett, Wolf acknowledges the science around man-made climate change and will be involved in crafting the federally-mandated plan to cut Pennsylvania’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Update: Wolf will be inaugurated January 20th. He’s already named two former environmental┬ásecretaries┬áto key positions in his administration. As governor, he’ll face a more conservative┬ástate legislature; it remains to be seen how well they’ll work together.
*The countdown is based on web traffic statistics to the StateImpact Pennsylvania site.

Up Next

2014 countdown: Southeastern PA feels gas boom & Chevron blocks access to fire