(Oregon, OH) Ohio's governor won't back a financial bailout being sought by First Energy for its pair of aging nuclear power plants along Lake Erie.
Governor John Kasich toured a privately-funded, natural gas-fired power plant Monday in the Toledo suburb of Oregon. The $800 million facility can provide electricity to more than 700,000 homes, much more than either the Davis-Besse nuclear power plant near Oak Harbor or the Perry nuclear power station east of Cleveland.
While both plants are vital to the rural towns where they're located and generate millions in tax money for schools and local governments, both Davis-Besse and Perry are aging, costly to operate and maintain, and face stiff competition from cheaper natural gas plants.
State senators Cliff Hite and Randy Gardner, prominent Northwest Ohio Republicans, both accompanied the governor on the tour. A proposal by the northern Ohio electric utility is stalled at the Ohio Statehouse.
First Energy wants the state legislature to pass so-called clear air credits, a $300-million proposal that would add five dollars per month on average to each rate-payers bill. Consumer and environmental groups oppose the idea.