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ARTICLE ARCHIVE

Nuclear Costs

Estimates for new reactor construction costs continue to sky-rocket. Conservative estimates range between $6 and $12 billion per reactor but Standard & Poor's predicts a continued rise. The nuclear power industry is lobbying for heavy federal subsidization including unlimited loan guarantees but the Congressional Budget Office predicts the risk of default will be well over 50 percent, leaving taxpayers to foot the bill. Beyond Nuclear opposes taxpayer and ratepayer subsidies for the nuclear energy industry.

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Monday
Jul152019

HB6 updated target call sheet and sample script

Provided by Becca Pollard of Sierra Club (contact info. below)

Becca's explanatory note:

Hey Everyone,

We are expecting more changes to the bill this week. There may be more hearings and probably a vote.

If this passes the senate the new version will go to the house.

We must keep the pressure on senate targets AND put pressure on the house dems who voted for the version of the bill that passed the house!

An updated call list is attached. You can also find it at the link below. Please share widely!


Let me know if you have any questions!

Becca Pollard

becca.pollard@sierraclub.org

Ohio Associate Organizing Representative

Sierra Club, Beyond Coal

503-756-2598

 

Oppose Nuclear & Coal Bailouts and Renewable Energy and Efficiency Rollbacks at the Ohio Statehouse

 

 Sample Script

 

Hi, my name is _______________________ and I’m calling because I’m concerned about House Bill 6. This bill creates a new energy tax on all Ohio electric customers to bail out uneconomic coal and nuclear plants - including a plant not even in Ohio!, I am also concerned with how HB 6 guts our renewable energy and energy efficiency standards. These standards reduce energy waste, save us money and are helping Ohio to transition to clean, affordable renewable energy.

 

I want [Senator/Representative] _______________  to take a stand for future generations of Ohioans and oppose this  bill and instead support legislation that will help to grow renewable energy like wind and solar that will truly make our air cleaner.

 

Please ask _____________________ to vote  NO  on HB 6.

 

 

Senate Target list:

Tier 1:

Brenner (614) 466-8086

Craig (614) 466-5131

Fedor (614) 466-5204

Gavarone (614) 466-8060

Hackett (614) 466-3780

S. Huffman (614) 466-6247

Lehner (614) 466-4538

N. Manning (614) 644-7613

Schaffer (614) 466-8076

Sykes(614) 466-7041

 

Tier 2:

Antonio (614) 466-5123

O’Brien (D) (614) 466-7182

Maharath (614) 466-8064

Roegner  (614) 466-4823

Terhar (614) 466-8068

Wilson (614) 466-9737

Uecker (614) 466-8082

Monday
Jul152019

Ohio State Substitute House Bill 6 (nuclear and coal bailout; gutting renewables and efficiency) and the cost charts referenced in State Senate EPU committee today

Substitute House Bill 6 and the cost charts that were referenced in committee today (Monday, July 15, 2019). Both of these documents are available on the State Senate website as well.

Thursday
Jul112019

Nuclear bailout war rages on in Ohio -- please take action or spread the word!


Nuclear bailout war rages on in Ohio -- please take action or spread the word!

The Cincinnati Enquirer is wondering, "Who paid all that money to buy all those nuclear bailout ads raining on Ohio?" The Wall Street Journal reports "Ohio Lawmakers Miss Deadline to Save Two Nuclear Plants, Vow to Keep Trying." The nuclear bailout war continues to rage in Ohio. Resistance has blocked the nuclear bailout thus far, for the past several years. But the next ten days could decide this fight. As NIRS executive director, Tim Judson's, testimony to State of Ohio legislative committees predicted, bankrupt FirstEnergy Nuclear's claim, that it needed the multi-year, multi-billion dollar bailout, to be approved by June 30, 2019 -- so that it could order nuclear fuel for its Ohio reactors to keep operating -- was a bluff. "Magically," FirstEnergy has announced it can wait a bit longer. So its friends in the Ohio legislature have obliged, and extended their legislative session by two weeks, in order to ram the bailout through. This is unacceptable from a nuclear safety perspective -- one of the reactors in line to receive the bailout, Davis-Besse on the Lake Erie shore near Toledo, is one of the single most age-degraded and high-risk atomic reactors in the country. (See photo, above, of local residents protesting in 2011 -- with street theater appearances by the likes of Humpty Dumpty, King Kong, Homer Simpson, Mr. Burns, and Flying Pigs -- after revelations of severe cracking of Davis-Besse's concrete containment Shield Building, at the atomic reactor's front entrance.) It should have been shut down long ago, and should not be bailed out, enabling it to keep operating for years or decades to come!
 
The potential cataclysm that could unfold, if the Davis-Besse reactor melts down, and its containment fails, releasing catastrophic amounts of hazardous radioactivity into the environment, is unimaginable. The CRAC-II report (Calculation of Reactor Accident Consequences, also known as the Sandia Siting Study, or NUREG/CR-2239), commissioned by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and carried out by Sandia National Lab, reported that 1,400 peak early fatalities (acute radiation poisoning deaths), 73,000 peak early injuries, 10,000 peak cancer deaths (latent cancer fatalities) would result. So too would $84 billion in property damages. But the Associated Press reported in 2011 that populations have soared around atomic reactors like Davis-Besse since 1982, so casualty figures would be much worse today. And when adjusted for inflation alone, property damages would now surmount $220 billion. Also, the Great Lakes downstream -- drinking water for many millions in multiple states and provinces in two countries, as well as a large number of Native American First Nations -- could be radioactively poisoned.  
 
If you live in Ohio, please take direct action. If you know anyone in Ohio, please spread the word to them ASAP, to take action! See a recent update, as well as a recent action alert, from Sierra Club, to learn more about what's happening, and what can be done about it. As Becca Pollard of Sierra Club has just reported, the Ohio State Senate committee is not meeting this week...but there will likely be more hearings next week. In the mean time...keep generating phone calls, tweets using the #NoOnHB6 tag, and letters to the editor. (See Beyond Nuclear's recent letter to the editor, here.) To learn more about the Ohio nuke bailout scheme, and other atomic subsidies (and the countless misrepresentations underlying them), see our running updates at our Nuclear Costs website section. 
Thursday
Jul112019

Latest action alert on Ohio State House Bill 6 (Nuclear Bailout Bill)

Update from Becca Pollard, Sierra Club:

The committee is not meeting this week and there is no news at the moment, but there will likely be more hearings next week.

In the mean time, we want to keep generating phone calls, tweets using the #NoOnHB6 tag, and letters to the editor. 

[If you live in Ohio, please take direct action. If you know anyone in Ohio, please spread the word to them ASAP, to take action! See a recent update, as well as a recent action alert, from Sierra Club, to learn more about what's happening, and what can be done about it. To learn more about the Ohio nuke bailout scheme, and other atomic subsidies (and the countless misrepresentations underlying them), see our running updates at our Nuclear Costs website section.]
Thursday
Jul112019

New version of HB 6 still bails out FirstEnergy’s profitable power plants

FirstEnergy Facts by Dick Munson of EDF:

Thursday, July 11, 2019 - Edition #71

 

Rate shock

FirstEnergy and its legislative supporters argue constantly that HB 6 will save Ohioans money. Really? How would spending almost a billion dollars to bail out a publicly-traded utility’s uneconomic coal and nuclear power plants save taxpayers and ratepayers money? 

Ned Hill, a distinguished Ohio State University professor,
calculated that even with a revised Senate version of the bailout bill, “electricity costs will still increase in Ohio.” The Ohio Consumers Council, created by law to protect Ohioans from monopolies, testified “The bill will transfer about a billion dollars in above-market charges from Ohio families and businesses to FirstEnergy Solutions’ investors. That is bad. The bill similarly will allow the continued bailout of the two OVEC coal plants, at a total consumer cost of about $300 million. … That is also bad.”

So, when it comes to determining if public subsidies will cost you money — do you trust the recipients of those subsidies or an economics professor and independent consumer advocate? If you chose the first, prepare for a rate shock.

Deadline? Just kidding

FirstEnergy Solutions has screamed for months that Ohio legislators had to give them a billion dollar bailout by the end of June or they’d close their power plants. Well, that date has come and gone, and guess what? FirstEnergy suddenly is fine to wait. 

Makes you wonder — if June 30 was a soft deadline, could the demand for $150 million per year be equally soft?

Profitable? Depends on who we’re talking to

FirstEnergy Solutions says it needs at least $150 million annually or it will close power plants. When upstart legislators ask for some justification, the company claims it can’t say, arguing, erroneously, that it can’t reveal such specifics because it is in bankruptcy.

Yet when FirstEnergy Solutions talks to the bankruptcy court, it offers specific financial numbers and quietly admits that its nuclear generation business is doing fine, thank you very much. According to the report, FirstEnergy’s nuclear generation subsidiary had a positive operating margin of $1.8 million in May and, since the bankruptcy filing, it had a positive operating margin of $55.3 million. 

Back to wondering – why does this profitable company need a bailout?

Keep collecting dues

The Ohio Supreme Court recently
ruled that FirstEnergy illegally received hundreds of millions of dollars from consumers and that the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio needed to immediately stop these no-strings-attached payments. Although the payments were illegally obtained, the state’s utilities had previously lobbied for legislation that prohibited refunds, allowing FirstEnergy to keep its ill-gotten gains. Demonstrating again its appetite for endless subsidies, FirstEnergy just asked the Supreme Court to reconsider its decision, hoping to delay any PUCO action so it can continue collecting illegal payments. 

A good gig if you can get it.