The Bryan Times,
This is an open letter to Ohio Senator Rob McColley (R-Napoleon). I listened to your presentation about HB6 at the Montpelier Senior Center on June 10. You basically said that First Energy Solutions told the Legislature they needed a bail-out (i.e., subsidy) or they would have to close (the nuclear plants? Or First Energy Solutions? I’m not sure which) or the whole thing would be sold to a third party. So, the legislation apparently is choosing the first option, a bail-out to a huge corporation.
You did not point out that this bailout will be paid for by the electric consumers in Ohio (estimated $200 million annually) by means of a surcharge tacked onto utility bills. Another source of revenue to pay for this gift to First Energy Solutions will come from local municipal corporations. Bryan Municipal Utilities earned $100,000 from its solar field and hydroelectric plant last year and another $150,000 for its participation in sustainable energy programs through American Municipal Power. Renewable Energy Credits (REC's) bring about $40,000 per year to the city. Much of this income will be in jeopardy due to HB6.
Those clean energy investments made by Ohio municipal utilities into renewable sources of power have put Ohio among the leaders in progressive clean energy initiatives. Those efforts are saving money for consumers of electricity based on renewable energy. HB6 cuts clean air subsidies to wind and solar projects that will undermine this industry. The irony is overwhelming! Clean energy subsidies for aging nuclear power plants but cuts to wind and solar.
What is clean about aging nuclear power plants with repeated operational problems? Davis-Besse alone had “incidents” in 1977, 1985, 1998, 2002 and 2010. The 2002 event resulted in fines to First Energy of $28 million. In 2017 there were “back-up system failures,” which were the most immediate cause for the 2011 reactor core meltdowns at the Fukushima plant in Japan, according to an article appearing in Energy News, July, 2018: (Ref: https://energynews.us/2018/07/18/midwest/ohio-nuclear-plants-get-stricter-scrutiny-after-safety-system-problems/).
HB 6 serves as a perfect example of where the power lies in Ohio. It is in Columbus, where “our” representatives cater to the desires of huge corporations. The people and small businesses of Williams County have little influence among such powerful players.