FirstEnergy / Nuclear Energy / Ohio Citizen Action / Ohio Utility Bailouts

Ohio Citizen Action statement on nuclear energy bailout tax bill

This bill is another disappointing example of redistribution of wealth from the pockets of Ohio consumers into the hands of FirstEnergy shareholders. To add insult to injury, we are told it’s for our own good, to save jobs and cut carbon emissions. We categorically reject this false concern for the public interest and will continue calling this maneuver what it is – another big bailout.

If FirstEnergy is so concerned with carbon, they’d invest in renewable energy and allow their expensive, polluting coal plants to close. If our legislature is so concerned with jobs, they’d remove obstacles to developing in-state wind and solar projects, instead of asking all Ohioans to pay to save jobs in the short-term. FirstEnergy tried this ploy before, but limited the bailout to its own residential and industrial customers. That bill failed. This time, they are attempting to spread the pain to all Ohio ratepayers and recruit allies from among other utilities by sharing the wealth. That’s not going to fool anyone.

FirstEnergy CEO Chuck Jones has admitted this nuclear bailout is the company’s #1 legislative priority this year. Who can blame him, with generation subsidiary FirstEnergy Solutions floundering in bankruptcy and looking to subsidize their nuclear plants.

When will Ohio stop throwing good money after bad and invest in the energy sources of the future? FirstEnergy has received $11 billion in bailouts in the last twenty years. Is there to be no end to customers subsidizing their bad business decisions?  Ohio consumers deserve better.

— Rachael Belz, Executive Director, Ohio Citizen Action <

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