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Government/Politics

Senator Says FirstEnergy Nuclear "Bailout" Bill Needed, Though Governor Says He Won't Support It

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FirstEnergy's Davis Besse and Perry nuclear power plants

Another clash may be coming between Republican state lawmakers and Gov. John Kasich. And it’s about a bill on nuclear power plants, but the issue may be more about money.

At the opening of a new natural gas plant in Toledo, Kasich said he can’t support a bill that would allow FirstEnergy to charge its customers more to subsidize its two nuclear plants. “Economic decisions have to be made, and I just think they’re going to have to work their way through this themselves,” said Kasich.

The bill’s sponsor, Sen. John Eklund (R-Munson Township), said nuclear is needed in a diverse energy portfolio, which he said Kasich has supported. And he said lawmakers make many decisions to preserve important things and they’re not called bailouts. "This just happens to be another one. It’s no more of a bailout than so many of the other things that we do," Eklund said.

Eklund said he hasn’t spoken to Kasich about the bill but wants to move it forward, though it stalled before summer recess.

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