(Bloomberg) — The Biden administration is backing federal subsidies to keep U.S. nuclear power plants in operation as part of its infrastructure proposal, a move that is sure to set up a clash with environmentalists who have qualms with the carbon-free fuel source.
White House officials have told supporters in the industry and on the Hill it would like to see a nuclear production tax credit included in the $2.25 trillion infrastructure package it proposed in March, according to a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified discussing private conversations.
The support comes as the industry, which provides about 19% of the nation’s electricity, has been beset by a wave of reactor closures as it struggles to compete with electricity produced from natural gas.
The administration’s support for the nuclear industry is seen as a way of backing President Joe Biden’s ambitious climate goals, which include a carbon-free electricity grid by 2035 and a carbon-free economy by 2050.
The administration said earlier it wants nuclear power to be included in a clean energy mandate it is pushing that could require utilities to produce electricity from carbon-free sources.
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