FirstEnergy

Bill Seitz
OHIO HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Ohio lawmakers have tabled a plan to add a fee to the electric bills of FirstEnergy customers to help pay for the utility’s unprofitable nuclear plants.

WKSU’s Jeff St.Clair reports that a key legislator is floating an alternative solution.

FirstEnergy says it needs the $300 million per year generated by a customer fee it's proposing to keep its two Ohio nuclear plants operating, Davis-Besse near Toledo and Perry east of Cleveland. 

photo of Chuck Jones
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The CEO of one of Ohio’s largest energy providers made a rare appearance before state lawmakers, pleading for nuclear plant subsidies. This push comes as the company is nearing a major decision.

FirstEnergy CEO Chuck Jones went before the Ohio Senate, saying subsidies would prop up their two struggling nuclear plants. If passed, FirstEnergy customers would see about a $5 increase to their monthly electric bills.

photo of Perry Nuclear Plant
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.

photo of Perry Nuclear Plant
JERRY SHARP / SHUTTERSTOCK

One of Ohio’s largest utilities is once again going to state lawmakers for a way to get a boost for its struggling power plants. 

FirstEnergy wants state lawmakers to give it the ability to charge its customers about $5 more a month. The utility’s Jennifer Young says the company's struggling nuclear plants deserve a subsidy for emitting zero carbon.

“It’s the best interest of communities in the state, and while there may be a small premium for that we think that is the right thing to do.”

Ohio RIver near plant site
CC BY 3.0, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50015749 / Wikipedia

The decision on whether to build a multi-billion-dollar cracker plant in eastern Ohio is expected by the end of March and key environmental permits may already be in place.

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