FirstEnergy / Nuclear Energy

Ohio nuclear bill could clash with federal law, conceals info from public

Credit: Neal Wellons (Creative Commons)

COLUMBUS — “A bill to subsidize FirstEnergy’s Davis-Besse and Perry nuclear plants presents potential conflicts under Ohio and federal law.

Senate Bill 128 would implement FirstEnergy’s zero-emission nuclear, or ZEN, program to have its Ohio utilities’ two million distribution customers pay above-market prices for as much as $57 per year for up to 16 years. That charge of about $5 per month would be in addition to a rider the company started collecting this year of nearly $4 per residential customer per month in order to prop up FirstEnergy’s credit rating.

Critics say the nuclear ZEN bill would conflict with federal law by improperly interfering with electricity markets.

Questions have also been raised about the fact that one of the bill’s two sponsors, state Sen. John Eklund, is also an antitrust and trade attorney with the firm of Calfee, Halter & Griswold, whose list of government relations clients includes FirstEnergy. The Legislative Inspector General’s database of lobbyists confirms that two attorneys in the firm’s Columbus office are identified as registered on behalf of the energy company.”

— Kathiann M. Kowalski, Midwest Energy News

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