FirstEnergy / Nuclear Energy / Ohio Utility Bailouts

Nuclear power companies have spent millions lobbying for subsidies. Should Ohio, other states bail them out?

FirstEnergy’s Perry nuclear plant. Photo By
Wainstead / Creative Commons

COLUMBUS—”Nuclear power companies and their supporters have spent millions of dollars contributing to state candidate campaigns and lobbying state officials.

In New Jersey, FirstEnergy’s New Jersey subsidiary and Exelon spent $5.2 million in 2017 and 2018 on lobbying efforts for the subsidy package there, according to reports filed with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission. FirstEnergy’s share: $831,600 during that time.

Complete lobbying expenses aren’t reported in Ohio.

Before the bankruptcy filing, FirstEnergy Corp. was pressing for similar legislation last year. The company has had more than a dozen registered lobbyists since 2017. FirstEnergy Solutions currently has four registered lobbyists and FirstEnergy Bondholder Group has two.

FirstEnergy’s political action committee has given more than $1.74 million to Ohio political candidates and parties since January 2015, according to an Enquirer analysis of campaign finance data. Company executives and employees gave another $130,000 to statewide and Statehouse candidates during that time. Republican Gov. Mike DeWine and his running mate Jon Husted received $62,221 from FirstEnergy’s PAC and executives during the 2018 campaign and another $20,000 for the transition.”

— Jackie Borchardt, Cincinnati Enquirer

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