Nonpartisan Coalition Opposes Bailout for FirstEnergy's Nuclear Plants

May 8, 2017

The proposals at the Statehouse to subsidize FirstEnergy’s two nuclear plants are getting some pushback from about 40 different entities in Ohio.

 

The Coalition Against Nuclear Bailouts has bipartisan support from elected officials, pastors and even organizations like AARP and the Ohio Coin Machine Association.

Jenn Klein, with the Ohio Chemistry Technology Council, says so many groups have signed on because the projected costs affect everyone in the state.

“Whether you’re a small mom-and-pop shop, a homeowner or a large manufacturer, the proposal has the up-to $200-300 million annually impact in new customer charged for up to 16 years," Klein says.

Klein adds that her group supports many different forms of electricity, but the forecast for the two aging nuclear plants is not good.

“We’re enjoying historically low wholesale power prices," Klein says. "Forward markets predict those prices remain stable. And as generation moves to natural gas, those prices will remain low even more so because the region is awash in natural gas due to Utica Shale development.”

Klein also says that keeping the nuclear plants afloat could also jeopardize demand for private investment in natural gas generation.

She’s leading the effort along with several people including Lordstown Mayor Arno Hill. He says he joined because private investment in natural gas plants in his city will be creating jobs, while providing a $300 million subsidy to the utility is a bad investment.

A call for comment to FirstEnergy was not returned.