Nonpartisan Coalition Opposes the $300 Million-A-Year Bailout For FirstEnergy's Nuclear Plants

May 8, 2017

FirstEnergy plans to sell the Perry Nuclear Plant -- as well as Davis-Besse nuclear -- and include the 16-year subsidy in the sale.
Credit JERRY SHARP / SHUTTERSTOCK

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 is with the Ohio Chemistry Technology Council, and 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 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. 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 over the weekend, but the utility has issued the following statement:

Nuclear energy is an integral component of Ohio’s electric generation portfolio, providing critical economic, environmental, grid resiliency, fuel diversity and other benefits to our state.  Despite their clear advantages, nuclear plants are facing an uncertain future.  Establishing a mechanism that reflects and preserves their value, similar to what other states have already done, is in the best interest of Ohio consumers and communities.

We have seen a broad base of support for the Zero-Emissions Nuclear Resource (ZEN) Program that includes local officials from across the state, school systems around the plants, clergy groups, labor organizations, suppliers and vendors, and businesses of all sizes.  Ensuring nuclear plants remain part of the state’s electricity generation portfolio is the right thing to do for Ohio’s energy future.

The Coalition Against Nuclear Bailouts includes the following groups:

AARP

Alliance for Energy Choice

American Petroleum Institute Ohio

Bowling Centers Association of Ohio

Clean Energy Future

Cleveland City Councilman Ken Johnson

Columbiana County Commissioner Mike Halleck

Columbiana Mayor Bryan Brakeman

Community Mobilization Coaltion

Cuyahoga County Councilman Anthony Harrison

Dan Crouse, Routh Hurlbert Real Estate

David Johnson, CEO, Summitville Tiles, Inc.

Energy Professionals of Ohio (EPO)

Harrison County Commissioner Dale Norris

Joe Knab, Green Township Board of Zoning Appeals

Landowners for Energy Access and Safe Exploration

Lordstown Mayor Arno Hill

Maumee City Councilman Dan Hazard

Mayfield Heights City Councilmember Donna R. Finney

Mike Baach, President & CEO, Philpott Solutions Group

Minister Jerry Primm of East Cleveland Concern Pastors

NARO Appalachia

National Association of Royalty Owners (NARO)

New Bethel Baptist Church Reverend Kenneth Simon

Newtown Falls Mayor Lyle Waddell

Nick Homrighausen, Executive Director of Community & Economic Development, Harrison County

Nita Thomas, Hamilton County Westside Community Action

Ohio Chemistry Technology Council

Ohio Coin Machine Association

Ohio Licensed Beverage Association

Ohio Manufacturers Association

Ohio Oil and Gas Association

Ohio State Grange

Oregon City Administrator Mike Beazley

Pastor Jimmy Gates of Kinsmen Pastors

Pastor Tony Minor of UNITED Pastors

Quality Water Systems

Regina Mitchell, President, Warren Fabricating and Machining Corporation

Stark County Black Caucus

Stark County Concerned Pastors

Trumbull County Commissioner Daniel Polivka

Trumbull County Commissioner Frank Fuda

Trumbull County Commissioner Mauro Cantalamessa

Warren Mayor Doug Franklin

We the People Ohio Valley

Wilmington Mayor John Stanforth

Youngstown Warren Black Caucus

Zanesville Patriots