Indiana Senate panel advances nuclear incentive bill

A bill that would allow Indiana's utilities to quickly pass onto their customers some of the costs of planning nuclear power plants is advancing in the General Assembly.

The bill co-sponsored by Republican Sen. James Merritt passed the Senate's Utilities and Technology Committee on a 6-2 vote Thursday after the panel heard about four hours of testimony. It's now eligible for second reading in the Senate.

As IBJ reported Wednesday, the bill would allow utilities to seek "timely recovery" of the costs of designing, licensing and permitting of nuclear power plants. Indiana currently has no such plants.

Opponents say the bill as written would circumvent the state's utility regulatory review process and damage efforts to boost Indiana's clean-energy sector. They also say it would hurt working class families and small businesses.

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