Why is it so important to pass legislation?
The last day of Ohio’s legislative session is tentatively June 28th. If we don’t put pressure on our legislators to pass a bill to shore up the finances of Davis-Besse and Perry, they may be closed for financial reasons. FirstEnergy has already taken a $9 billion writedown and is hoping to sell the plants. Without a bill to make them profitable amidst historically low natural gas prices-- the outlook for a sale is bleak.
See what Judd Gregg, former Governer and US Senator has to say about Nuclear in Ohio, and the effects that plant closures can have on communities, small businesses, and the stability of the grid.
Are the plants really in danger of closing?
Yes. Due to FirstEnergy’s current finances-- the situation is dire. If we pass the ZEN (Zero Emissions Nuclear) or other legislation this session, we can be relatively certain that FirstEnergy will find a buyer to continue to operate the plant. If not-- it will likely be closed and enter into decommissioning. CEO Chuck Jones and the FENOC board have made this intention clear.
Jamie Byer Grant, Director of the Ottawa County Improvement Corporation weighs in about the risk that the plants face:
"I am extremely concerned about the future of Davis-Besse and Perry... Davis-Besse is Ottawa County's largest employer. I wake up every morning thinking about the future of Davis-Besse, and I go to bed every night and end my conversations every evening looking at ways to try and preserve Davis-Besse and the nuclear fleet of Ohio."
How will closing Perry affect my taxes?
When a similarly sized plant in Zion, IL closed in 1998
their community lost $18 million in annual property taxes from the plant-- the
tax burden shifted to local businesses and residents, ballooning their taxes from 8.7% in ‘98, to 21.5% today.
When the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant closed in Vernon, VT, they had to lay off the entire police force and secure outside
contracts to keep the town safe. Similarly, economic impacts of closing Davis-Besse would be staggering to the community. Area
schools receive a significant portion their funding from property taxes paid by Davis-Besse employees and the businesses they frequent. For BCS Schools, it’s a full 40% of their funding from the plant alone. Ohio nuclear
plants provide $23 million in state and local tax revenues annually. If those funds disappear, we’re picking up the bill.
Here's what a local community leader and superintendent of Benton Carroll Salem School District, Guy Parmigian, has to say about the importance of nuclear in Ohio and the tax revenue that it provides his schools.