Coalition Opposing the FirstEnergy Nuclear Bailout Announced

For Immediate Release
Trey Addison, AARP, 937-470-1033
Lordstown Mayor Arno Hill, 330-824-3330
Jenn Klein, Ohio Chemistry Technology Council, 330-224-1730
Over forty bipartisan Ohio elected, business, and community leaders and organizations announce today the formation of the Coalition Against Nuclear Bailouts. This rapidly growing coalition seeks to protect Ohio consumers, businesses, communities, and families from the proposed government bailout of FirstEnergy’s Davis Besse and Perry nuclear power plants proposed in Senate Bill 128 and House Bill 178.

This up to $300 million a year bailout would pick winners and losers in the energy market and would prop-up increasingly uncompetitive plants on the backs of Ohio families and businesses, so that one company can make a larger profit. The coalition is concerned that if this bailout is approved, it could lead to higher electric bills for all Ohioans, drive away investment and business development in our state, kill thousands of good-paying Ohio jobs, and threaten tax revenues for local governments and schools.

For more information and future updates about the coalition please visit our Facebook page.

The coalition offered the following statements:

“This proposed nuclear bailout will hurt current Ohio businesses and could stop new businesses from investing in Ohio,” said Summitville Tiles, Inc. CEO David Johnson. “Senate Bill 128 and House Bill 178 will increase the cost of doing business in FirstEnergy’s territory. And, because it interferes with the competitive energy generation market in Ohio, could lead to higher energy costs for businesses across the state. If the state passes this legislation, it will be sending the message that Ohio is willing to pick winners and losers and to favor one business to the detriment of thousands of others.”

“I urge Ohio’s General Assembly to reject Senate Bill 128 and House Bill 178” said Community Mobilization Coalition Chairman Reverend Simon. “This legislation would raise electric rates on thousands of Ohio families regardless of ability to pay. Families should not have to choose between keeping the lights on or eating dinner, so that another big company can get another big bailout. FirstEnergy was just recently given the authority to increase their customers’ bills by $204 million a year, just to prop up the company’s bottom-line. Now they are asking for more? It is time for our elected leaders to say no.”

“The proposed FirstEnergy bailout would put at risk the jobs, investments, and much needed tax revenues for local government and schools provided by the construction of two natural-gas fired power plants here in Lordstown” said Lordstown Mayor Arno Hill. “At the same time, it would increase electric rates on our local families and businesses. This nuclear bailout could devastate Lordstown, and countless other Ohio communities if passed. And to what end? FirstEnergy has already announced it plans to sell the nuclear plants. Ohio families and communities should not have to suffer just so FirstEnergy can make a larger profit.”

“Ohio consumers should not be saddled with higher electric bills so that the state can prop up FirstEnergy’s uncompetitive nuclear power plants,” said AARP Ohio’s Trey Addison. “This proposed bailout is another in a long line of subsidies that have increased consumers’ electric bills by $14.7 billion since 2000. These subsidies are not necessary to provide clean, reliable and cost effective electric service to Ohio families. Ohio is part of a 13 state electric grid and PJM, the grid operator, notes that subsidies distort the wholesale power market to the detriment of consumers and grid reliability. We urge legislators to consider the cost to consumers, including those over 50 on fixed incomes, and reject this legislation.”

“The FirstEnergy nuke bailout bill is the utility’s latest move to try to prop up its financially troubled business on the backs of Ohio consumers,” said Ohio Manufacturers’ Association Vice President and Managing Director of Public Policy Services Ryan Augsburger. “Manufacturers support nuclear power as part of an ‘all-of- the above’ energy portfolio, but Senate Bill 128 is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The legislation would impose an unwarranted new multi-billion- dollar tax on Ohio businesses and families, stunt innovation and discourage investment in new generation assets in our state. We will actively work to oppose this misguided, anti-consumer bill.”

“Ohio’s leaders should support free market solutions to electric generation because they ensure the lowest cost energy for consumers,” said Todd Snitchler, spokesman for Alliance for Energy Choice. “Subsidies, such as that proposed in Senate Bill 128 and House Bill 178, guarantee higher costs to customers. What is more, the proposed subsidy would hurt communities in Ohio where private investors have planned new, clean, highly efficient natural gas plants. Why would private energy producers choose to invest in Ohio if the state is in the business of picking winners and losers and preferring corporate bailouts over private investments? The proposed subsidy would reduce the overall number of construction, operations and maintenance jobs in communities around the state, and would simply shift the risk of closure to the more efficient Ohio power plants.”

Members of the rapidly growing Coalition Against Nuclear Bailouts include:

Alliance for Energy Choice
American Petroleum Institute Ohio
Bowling Centers Association of Ohio
Clean Energy Future
Cleveland City Councilman Ken Johnson
Columbiana County Commissioner Mike Halleck
Columbiana Mayor Bryan Brakeman
Community Mobilization Coalition
Cuyahoga County Councilman Anthony Hairston
Dan Crouse, Routh Hurlbert Real Estate
David Johnson, CEO, Summitville Tiles, Inc.
Energy Professionals of Ohio (EPO)
Harrison County Commissioner Dale Norris
Joe Knab, Green Township Board of Zoning Appeals
Landowners for Energy Access and Safe Exploration
Lordstown Mayor Arno Hill
Maumee City Councilman Dan Hazard
Mayfield Heights City Councilmember Donna R. Finney
Mike Baach, President & CEO, Philpott Solutions Group
Minister Jerry Primm of East Cleveland Concerned Pastors
NARO Appalachia
National Association of Royalty Owners (NARO)
New Bethel Baptist Church Reverend Kenneth Simon
Newton Falls Mayor Lyle Waddell
Nick Homrighausen, Executive Director of Community & Economic Development, Harrison County
Nita Thomas, Hamilton County Westside Community Action
Ohio Chemistry Technology Council
Ohio Coin Machine Association
Ohio Licensed Beverage Association
Ohio Manufacturers Association
Ohio Oil and Gas Association
Ohio State Grange
Oregon City Administrator Mike Beazley
Pastor Jimmy Gates of Kinsmen Pastors
Reverand Tony Minor of UNITED Pastors
Quality Water Systems
Regina Mitchell, President, Warren Fabricating and Machining Corporation
Stark County Black Caucus
Stark County Concerned Pastors
Trumbull County Commissioner Daniel Polivka
Trumbull County Commissioner Frank Fuda
Trumbull County Commissioner Mauro Cantalamessa
Warren Mayor Doug Franklin
We the People Ohio Valley
Wilmington Mayor John Stanforth
Youngstown Warren Black Caucus
Zanesville Patriots