Last year, the state Senate passed a bill that lifted the state’s moratorium on nuclear power plant construction.
This year, the fate of the same proposal is now bogged down in a Senate committee.
On Thursday, the Senate Energy committee approved a controversial amendment that led the bill’s author to ask to halt the discussion.
The chief sponsor, Sen. Amy Koch, R-Buffalo, said the amendment offered by Sen. John Doll, DFL-Burnsville, which prevailed on a 9-6 vote, “guts” her bill. As amended, the bill bars utilities from charging ratepayers for construction costs before a plant is completed. Doll’s amendment also requires that a federal nuclear waste repository be created before any new Minnesota construction.
Sen. Ray Vandeveer, R-Forest Lake, said the new requirements in the bill would prevent energy companies from building nuclear power plants in Minnesota.
“The Doll amendment puts us in the dark ages and it keeps us there and condemns us there,” Vandeveer said.
More coverage of this session’s nuclear moratorium ban legislation will appear in Monday’s Saint Paul Capitol Report, and will be published online Friday afternoon.