nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

The complicated politics of removing nuclear subsidies: the crooked Ohio legislation

Owners of Two Ohio Nuclear Plants May Decline Subsidies  The new owners of two Ohio nuclear power plants have given indications to Ohio legislators that they will decline $1 billion in subsidies included in a tainted 2019 energy bill. U.S. News , BY MARK GILLISPIE AND JULIE CARR SMYTH, Associated Press, 7 Feb 21, 

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The new owners of two Ohio nuclear power plants have given indications they are no longer interested in receiving as much as $1 billion in subsidies handed out in a tainted energy bill, according to two state lawmakers.

One of the lawmakers, freshman GOP Sen. Jerry Cirino, last week cosponsored Senate Bill 44, legislation that would eradicate subsidies that would have been paid by electric customers across the state for the plants now owned by a privately held company called Energy Harbor.

The plants, one of which is in Cirino’s district, were operated by a wholly owned subsidiary of Akron-based FirstEnergy Corp. when the bill known as HB6 was approved in July 2019 and quickly signed by Republican Gov. Mike DeWine.

Messages were left Friday with Energy Harbor spokespersons seeking comment about the company’s plans.

“I believe there is extremely broad support for Senate Bill 44 in the Legislature and broad external support as well,” said Cirino, who added that recent discussions with Energy Harbor officials lead him to believe they will not find any problems with SB44.

One of the lawmakers, freshman GOP Sen. Jerry Cirino, last week cosponsored Senate Bill 44, legislation that would eradicate subsidies that would have been paid by electric customers across the state for the plants now owned by a privately held company called Energy Harbor.

The plants, one of which is in Cirino’s district, were operated by a wholly owned subsidiary of Akron-based FirstEnergy Corp. when the bill known as HB6 was approved in July 2019 and quickly signed by Republican Gov. Mike DeWine………..

Rep. Bill Seitz, a Cincinnati Republican who was a key player in pushing HB6 through the Legislature, said an Energy Harbor lobbyist told him in December that the company would like the option to decline the subsidies.

Both Seitz and Cirino said Energy Harbor officials were concerned that accepting subsidies would put the company at a disadvantage competing with non-subsidized suppliers, given priority on pricing in the 13-state PJM energy markets where electricity is bought and sold……….

HB6 critics have questioned whether Energy Harbor needs financial help to keep the plants operating after buying back $800 million of company shares last year. Energy Harbor officially took ownership of the plants in February 2020 in a deal struck with a FirstEnergy subsidiary in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

“It’s quite a turnaround if Energy Harbor is now telling the legislature to repeal its billion-dollar corporate welfare subsidy from Ohioans,” said Ohio Consumers’ Counsel Bruce Weston in a statement. “Questions that come to mind include: Did the two nuclear plants really need the subsidy that they got from Ohioans’ state government? And were the nuclear plants really going to be closed without the subsidy?”

Former PUCO Chair Todd Snitchler, now president and CEO of the Washington-based Electric Supply Association, on Friday called HB6 a “shameful piece of legislation.”

“Ohioans don’t need to pay more only to support struggling plants,” Snitchler said in a statement. “Competitive power markets are delivering reliable power and billions in cost savings to electric customers while significantly reducing emissions and enabling new clean energy build — without subsidies and extra ratepayer charges.”

…………… HB6 has been under intense scrutiny since U.S. Attorney David DeVillers announced on July 21 that then-House Speaker Larry Householder and four others had been arrested for their involvement in a $60 million bribery scheme secretly funded by an unidentified company that clearly was FirstEnergy. Authorities have described it as the biggest bribery scheme in state history.

The five men and a dark money group were subsequently indicted on federal racketeering charges. Householder has pleaded not guilty and awaits trial. Two political operatives have pleaded guilty to charges. The dark money group called Generation Now filed a plea agreement on Friday.

Republicans who control both legislative chambers have not been able to reach a consensus so far on repealing or replacing the measure.

Sponsor testimony on the new bill eliminating the nuclear subsidies begins Tuesday.  https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/ohio/articles/2021-02-07/owners-of-two-ohio-nuclear-plants-may-decline-subsidies

February 7, 2021 - Posted by | politics, secrets,lies and civil liberties

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: