"The natural gas boom that has hammered coal mines and driven down utility bills is hitting nuclear power plants, sending multi-billion-dollar energy companies in search of a financial rescue in states where competitive electricity markets have compounded the effect.
Fresh off victories in Illinois and New York, the nuclear power industry is now pressing lawmakers in Connecticut, New Jersey, Ohio and Pennsylvania for action. Lobbying efforts are bubbling up into proposals, even as court battles in Illinois and New York crank up over the billions of dollars that ratepayers will otherwise foot in the coming decade to keep nuclear plants open longer.
Perhaps nuclear power's biggest nemesis is the cheap natural gas flooding the market from the northeast's Marcellus Shale reservoir, the nation's most prolific gas field. Meanwhile, electricity consumption hit a wall after the recession, while states have emphasized renewable energies and efficiency."