FirstEnergy Announces Plans To Shut Down Nuclear Plants, But Lawmakers Are Hopeful

Mar 30, 2018

FirstEnergy says it’s starting the process of shutting down its two nuclear power plants in northwest and northeast Ohio, saying it can’t compete with lower natural gas prices. But the company says it’s willing to work with lawmakers to find ways to keep them operating.

Sen. John Eklund (R-Chardon) said the time is now to look at his bill, which would allow FirstEnergy to charge customer more to subsidize those nuclear plants “to provide the support through rates that they provide for other initiatives such as energy efficiency and alternative energy and renewable energy sources.”

Sen. Kenny Yuko (D-Richmond Heights) said he’s concerned about the impact of the shutdowns, but there may not be the political will to pass the bill. “The numbers don’t lie and the facts don’t really support this being an ongoing process," said Yuko.

Yuko says he thinks the interest is in cleaner, safer fuels such as natural gas. But Eklund says nuclear power plants have zero emissions, unlike natural gas.