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FirstEnergy's Push for a Federal Bailout Faces Opposition

Nuclear Power plants
David Besse and Perry nuclear power plants

Consumer, business and environmental groups are rallying to oppose FirstEnergy’s request for a federal bailout now that the company’s subsidiary FirstEnergy Solutions has filed for bankruptcy. This could be the utility’s last shot at keeping its nuclear and coal plants open.

Neil Waggoner with the Sierra Club of Ohio says FirstEnergy’s plea is an illegal request to the feds and could lead to higher electric bills statewide.

“If this bailout request goes through, this will be open to a significant number of customers it is an open door to federal bailouts.”

In its request, FirstEnergy Solutions says its coal and nuclear generation provides fuel security and diversity. But opponents argue that a bailout would help only FirstEnergy after it made poor investment decisions. They also maintain there’s plenty of generation coming onto the grid.

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.