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Subsidies

The nuclear industry has been heavily subsidized throughout its 50+-year history in the U.S. It continues to seek the lion's share of federal funding since it cannot otherwise afford to expand.

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Friday
Nov182016

Headlines from today's Midwest Energy News

UTILITIES: Ohio-based FirstEnergy continues to seek ratepayer support in order to boost its credit rating. (Midwest Energy News)

REGULATION: Researchers say Ohio businesses, residents and industries saved $15 billion on electricity between 2011 and 2015 due to the state’s de-regulated market. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

COAL: An Ohio utility is considering closing two coal-fired plants in the southern portion of the state, citing “market-driven financial challenges.” (Dayton Daily News)

GRID: Consumer advocates say grid-reliability upgrades by AEP are not justified by the costs imposed on ratepayers. (Columbus Dispatch)

OIL AND GAS: The Sierra Club files an antitrust complaint with federal regulators against a proposed natural gas pipeline through Ohio and southeast Michigan, alleging it will raise prices above competitive rates. (Detroit News)

[Beyond Nuclear has helped lead an environmental coalition for six years, seeking to block FirstEnergy Nuclear's license extension from 2017 to 2037 at its problem-plagued Davis-Besse atomic reactor on the Great Lakes shore. FirstEnergy has long sought massive bailouts -- at ratepayer expense -- from the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. But the money grab has largely failed, thanks to ongoing resistance by groups like Sierra Club, Ohio Environmental Council, Environmental Defense Fund, and public interest and ratepayer advocacy organizations (such as AARP). FirstEnergy has secured subsidies for transmission upgrades. But its nuclear and coal lobbyists continue to try to re-regulate the electricity market in OH -- even though they demanded de-regulation in the first place, a decade or more ago -- and were rewarded massive "stranded cost" bailouts at that time, again at public expense. All this nuclear lobbying, simply because Davis-Besse can't compete with cheaper sources of electricity, including wind power.

The same coalition of which Beyond Nuclear is a part have also challenged the Fermi nuclear power plant in southeast MI for many years. It is owned by Detroit Edison (DTE). DTE owns/operates Fermi 2 -- a troubled Fukushima Daiichi twin design -- and proposes a new reactor, Fermi 3. DTE is also behind the NEXUS fracked gas pipeline.

Fermi and Davis-Besse are visible with the naked eye, one from the other, across the waters of Lake Erie's very shallow (average 23-24 feet deep) western basin.]

]

Sunday
Nov132016

OH agrees to let FirstEnergy Nuclear impose $132.5 million a year surcharge on its 1.9 million customers

"Burning money" graphic art by Gene Case, Avening AngelsTom Henry of the Toledo Blade has Tweeted out his column on the ratepayer-funded bailout, now approved by the State of Ohio -- to the tune of $132.5 million per year -- of FirstEnergy Nuclear's dangerously age-degraded Davis-Besse atomic reactor on the Lake Erie shore. Beyond Nuclear has led opposition to Davis-Besse's 2017-2037 license extension since 2010. Davis-Besse has had more close calls with catastrophe than any other U.S. reactor, and -- FirstEnergy admits -- has had a severely cracked (and ever worsening) concrete containment, which could well fail to contain catastrophic amounts of hazardous radioactivity in the event of a meltdown.

Beyond Nuclear has also worked alongside Sierra Club, Ohio Environmental Council, Environmental Defense Fund, AARP, Public Citizen, ratepayer advocacy groups, and many others, to oppose requests from FirstEnergy to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) for ratepayer-funded bailouts of $4 to 8 billion (yes, with a B). FERC (the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) ultimately put the kabosh on this larger attempted ratepayer robbery, but the State of Ohio has just blessed the burdening of its own citizens to the tune of $132.5 million/year, nonetheless.

Saturday
Nov122016

National bailout of U.S. atomic reactors based on NY approach would cost $280 billion by 2030

"Burning money" image, by Gene Case of Avenging Angels, was featured on The Nation's 2003 cover regarding the "Nuclear Power Relapse"Tim Judson, executive director of Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS), has published a report entitled "Too Big to Bail Out: The Economic Costs of a National Nuclear Power Subsidy." Judson was joined on a press conference by former Nuclear Regulatory Commissioner Peter Bradford (listen to the recording here). Their analysis made clear that: nuclear power is not a viable climate strategy; more than half of U.S. reactors are expected to be uneconomical by 2020; and that this huge infusion of public funding for old nuclear plants would crowd out renewables. Meanwhile, in New York, the StopTheCuomoTax.org -- No Nuclear Bailout campaign has, most recently, issued an action alert, flown airplane banners, and erected billboards, to protest against the State of NY's agreement to pay $35 million of public money, if the transfer (from Entergy to Exelon) of the age-degraded, economically failing FitzPatrick reactor in upstate NY on the Lake Ontario shore is not finalized for certain reasons -- but state officials won't divulge what those reasons are (as reported by Syracuse.com). The campaign is now calling for New Yorkers to come to Albany on Thurs., Nov. 17th, to speak out at the Public Service Commission. More

Friday
Sep302016

DOE Task Force on the Future of Nuclear Power draft report calls for massive national subsidies to prop up dying industry

In Sept., 2016 the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board, Task Force on the Future of Nuclear Power, published its Draft Report. The report calls for massive nationalized subsidies, to prop up dirty, dangerous/age-degraded, expensive/un-competitive, atomic reactors across the U.S.

[This Task Force report was cited in NIRS Nov. 2016 report, Too Big to Bail Out. The NIRS report, by its executive director, Tim Judson, estimates that a New York-style bail out, implemented across the U.S., could cost American ratepayers and/or taxpayers, a whopping $280 billion.]

Tuesday
Aug162016

Public Citizen, D.C. SUN Urge Court to Block Exelon Takeover of Pepco

Sept. 17, 2015 PowerDC rally in Washington, DC, opposing Exelon Nuclear's takeover of Pepco. The hand-signed banner was delivered, en mass, to DC Mayor Muriel Bowser's office.WASHINGTON, D.C. – Public Citizen and D.C. Solar United Neighborhoods (DC SUN) today are filing a court challenge to the D.C. Public Service Commission’s (PSC) decision to approve Exelon’s takeover of Pepco. The groups believe the merger is not in the public interest, and the petition being filed today is the first step in asking the D.C. Court of Appeals, the district’s highest court, to block the merger.

The $7 billion merger will lead to higher electricity rates and stymie the District’s efforts to shift to renewable energy, the groups maintain. The PSC on June 17 rejected requests by Public Citizen and other groups to reconsider its decision to allow the merger. Since then, Pepco has asked for an $85.5 million rate increase.

More.