The Green Party of Ohio opposes the ratepayer-borne bailout of FirstEnergy for nuclear and coal plants
For immediate release
December 9, 2015
The Green Party of Ohio is urging the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) to reject the deal with FirstEnergy that provides the energy company with income guarantees regarding the operation of the Davis-Besse nuclear power plant and the W.H. Sammis coal-fired plant.
The end result of this deal would be increased electric rates for 2 million Ohio customers of FirstEnergy, as they pay extra to subsidize plants that cannot compete on the open market any longer.
The supposed rationale being put forth by FirstEnergy is that without a guaranteed income flow they may forced to close the two plants, thereby endangering the reliability of the electric grid. They have provided no definitive proof of that outcome though. They are hoping the mere threat of plant closures will cause the PUCO to agree to the bailout.
Even the estimates provided, with residential customers paying an extra $3.25/month during the the first year of the deal, are fuzzy math. The numbers are based on usage of 750 kilowatt-hours, while the national average is over 1000 kilowatt/hours.
Joseph DeMare, a member of the Green Party of Ohio from Wood County, and 2016 Senate hopeful has been a long time activist regarding nuclear energy and the Davis-Besse facility in particular. He issued the following statement:
"PUCO's mission statement says it exists to ensure 'safe and reliable utility services at fair prices, while facilitating an environment that that provides competitive choices'. This deal fails on every count. Davis-Besse is one of the most dangerous and unreliable nukes in the world. Allowing FirstEnergy to charge whatever it wants for the next eight years is not fair, and this sweetheart backroom deal is not competitive in any way. If the PUCO approves this, it will have betrayed the public in order to benefit FirstEnergy."
In an era where the viability of renewable energy sources is improving exponentially, and Ohioans already pay more for electricity, on average, than residents of 32 other states, signing off on a deal that could cost 2 million Ohio customers of FirstEnergy even more to subsidize old technology is simply unconscionable.
The Davis-Besse plant, already known for a recent two year shutdown due to a corroded reactor head, should not not have its license renewed, as FirstEnergy has also requested. Nor should the PUCO subsidize it's continued operation.
The Green Party of Ohio joins numerous other organizations, including the Sierra Club, the Office of Ohio Consumers Counsel, the Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council, The Ohio Environmental Council, and the AARP in opposing this ratepayer-borne bailout.
~ END ~