Saving Nuclear Plants Is 'Insurance Policy' According to FirstEnergy CEO

May 21, 2019
Originally published on May 28, 2019 11:53 am

The future of Ohio’s two nuclear plants remains up in the air as a bailout package, House Bill 6, works its way through the state legislature. The package would throw a lifeline to bankrupt FirstEnergy Solutions. Its former parent company, FirstEnergy hosted shareholders at its annual meeting in Akron Tuesday. Protesters were there too.  

FirstEnergy CEO Chuck Jones said 2018 was a good year for the utility. “We completed many of the difficult steps needed to successfully complete our transition into a premier, high performance regulated utility company with long-term sustainable shareholder growth.”

FirstEnergy’s bright future comes at the expense of its soon-to-be former subsidiary FirstEnergy Solutions, which is in the final stages of chapter 11 bankruptcy.

That company is currently trying to convince lawmakers to add a fee to customer bills that would provide a $150 million dollar subsidy to its two nuclear plants.

Jones said Ohio needs nuclear power despite the current abundance of natural gas...

“That money to keep these nuclear plants running is what I call an insurance policy against higher prices down the road.”

Around 30 members of Ohio Citizen Action gathered at the shareholders meeting in Akron to protest against the bailout. Executive Director Rachel Belz said the plants have received around $11 billion in subsidies over two decades. “So we’ve paid for these and we feel that enough is enough right now.”

An Ohio House Committee is expected to vote soon on the bill.

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