The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

New Poll: Voters in Ohio Counties Oppose Nuclear Bailouts

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted October 5, 2017

Ohio voters continue to oppose bailouts for nuclear plants. As a statewide poll showed this summer, a new poll by API Ohio shows big opposition to a proposal to let nuclear plant owner FirstEnergy charge its customers a special fee to increase funding for its plants in three counties that are near FirstEnergy’s headquarters and its Davis-Besse and Perry nuclear plants. The opposition in Lake, Summit and Ottawa counties is bipartisan and huge:

  • 81 percent of voters oppose letting FirstEnergy charge a fee to increase revenue to its nuclear plants – 79 percent of Republicans, 78 percent of Independents and 88 percent of Democrats.
  • 70 percent agree the Ohio electricity market should be based on the marketplace, not on whether state government lets one corporation charge its customers more to sustain its electric power generation – 80 percent of Republicans, 76 percent of Independents and 53 percent of Democrats.
  • 66 percent of voters believe consumers benefit when electricity generators compete to provide electricity, rather than if the state government imposes a special fee to sustain one particular electric power generator – 75 percent of Republicans, 80 percent of Independents and 53 percent of Democrats.

API Ohio Executive Director Chris Zeigler discussed the result during a conference call with reporters. The state has seen significant benefits from natural gas, Zeigler said. These include support for 190,000 Ohio jobs and $27 billion contributed to the state’s economy in 2015 – points highlighted in this new video:

Zeigler:

“Consumers have seen great benefits from the increased use of natural gas with the average American household saving as much as $1,337 due to lower utility costs and other energy-related savings from the shale gas revolution. Lower energy prices are also helping drive manufacturing back to states like Ohio, and natural gas represents a clean and affordable fuel source for electricity generation. Unfortunately, some would like our legislators in Columbus to put those benefits at risk by pushing legislation that would provide a bailout to First Energy’s Davis-Besse and Perry nuclear power plants.”

Zeigler said API Ohio isn’t opposed to nuclear power, but, rather, opposes proposals that would give preference to one energy source over others in the marketplace. Zeigler:

“What we oppose are legislative schemes that subsidize one form of energy over another, and create an uneven playing field that costs consumers, hurts manufacturers and threatens the state’s economy. Bailouts for nuclear plants distort the energy markets that have benefitted Ohio consumers by providing an affordable and reliable source of electricity.”

Let the markets choose – in Ohio and everywhere. Natural gas is abundant, affordable and reliablewithout subsidies, special fees or other preferences.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Mark also was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela live in Occoquan, Va., where they enjoy their four grandchildren.