Energy / FirstEnergy / Ohio Consumers Power Alliance / Ohio Utility Bailouts

Nuclear bailout bake sale at FirstEnergy shareholder meeting

AKRON — Ohio Citizen Action hosted a Nuclear Bailout Bake Sale today at the annual FirstEnergy shareholders meeting to help the struggling utility giant keep open the Perry and Davis-Besse nuclear power plants.  Power drinks were available at the bake sale for $10,000 and energy bars for $25,000. All participating FirstEnergy shareholders were invited to participate in the sale by advocates with megaphones.

The action highlights House Bill 6, legislation currently being debated before the Ohio legislature that would impose a charge on all Ohio utility customers to pay to keep the plants open beyond their announced 2020 and 2021 closure dates by awarding them cash for generating no carbon pollution.

“We’re all for clean air,” said Ohio Citizen Action Executive Director Rachael Belz. “But if anyone pays to keep these plants open it should be shareholders, not Ohio families.”

FirstEnergy has received $11 billion in five separate bailouts since a 1999 law required it to split its business into two distinct entities, one for energy generation and one for energy delivery. The generation entity, known as FirstEnergy Solutions, owns and operates the nuclear plants and filed for bankruptcy in 2018, after losing money and market share for years to cheaper natural gas and renewable energy.

“We raise money door-to-door to fund our operation, and we figured we could put that expertise to work today so FirstEnergy doesn’t tax all Ohioans to keep their plants open,” says Ms. Belz.