Energy / FirstEnergy

FirstEnergy nuclear hearings suspended in Ohio House

The Ohio House Public Utilities Committee has suspended any further hearings on legislation proposed by FirstEnergy to create a special charge to subsidize its nuclear power plant fleet, including the Perry plant in Lake County. The end of hearings means there will be no vote to move the legislation to the full House. Photo by Kathiann M. Kowalski.

CLEVELAND — The chairman of the Ohio House Public Utilities Committee has suspended further hearings — and a vote — on a proposed bill allowing FirstEnergy to create a special customer charge to subsidize its nuclear power plant fleet.

‘We have heard over 10 hours of testimony on this bill [House Bill 178]. I have given proponents and opponents a chance to make their case,’ said William Seitz, a Cincinnati Republican who chairs the committee.

‘I am not sensing a keen desire on the part of the House members to vote on this and doubt that we will have more hearings in the near future unless something cataclysmic should happen.’

Cataclysmic events might include a decision by FirstEnergy Solutions to seek bankruptcy protection from its creditors or a decision by the company to immediately close its four nuclear power plants.

FirstEnergy Solutions, the unregulated subsidiary of FirstEnergy, is legally the owner of all of the company’s power plants. FirstEnergy Solutions has been operating with junk bond ratings for some time.”

— John Funk, Cleveland Plain Dealer

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