The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper


        Four members of Ohio’s congressional delegation have written to President Donald Trump, asking him to support nuclear power.

        In a letter dated Feb. 15, Democrats Marcy Kaptur, Marcia Fudge and Tim Ryan and Republican David Joyce write that the discovery of large deposits of natural gas and advancements in drilling technology, “have driven down the price of electricity generation from gas-fired power plants and undercut baseload generation at nuclear power plants.”

        The letter describes nuclear energy as vital for national security.

        “Premature closure of America’s nuclear power plants threatens our competitive edge in this field,” the letter says.

        FirstEnergy has said it will complete a review this year of its coal and nuclear power plants with a goal of exiting the generation market.

        During a recent conference call with analysts, Chuck Jones, the company’s chief executive officer, said bankruptcy is an option for FirstEnergy Solutions, the subsidiary that operates generation plants, including the Davis-Besse and Perry nuclear units.

        Citing a report by the Energy Futures Initiative, the four members of congress state that a “commercial atomic power sector is necessary to keep uranium-processing technology away from terrorists and other bad actors.”

        They also stress the impact of the plants on the state’s economy.

        “The Davis-Besse and Perry nuclear power plants in northern Ohio are important components to the regional economy and to America’s energy security. These high-performing plants are economic engines that provide good-paying jobs both at the plants and through a far-reaching supply chain. These jobs support thriving communities and generate critical tax revenue that fund essential services,” the letter says.

Devaluation hits school district

        Members of the Benton-Carroll-Salem school board and administration have cited the recent property devaluation of the Davis-Besse plant as the primary reason the district needs additional tax revenue. The resulting annual loss to the district from the devaluation is about $4.6 million, about a fourth of the B-C-S operating budget.

        Voters in the school district will decide two levy requests on the May ballot.

        The letter from the members of congress urges President Trump to “step in and offer immediate assistance to prevent the critical generators from closing prematurely.”

        Mark Stahl, an Ottawa County commissioner, and Jerry Cirino, a Lake County commissioner, met last month with management of PJM Interconnection, a regional transmission organization that coordinates the movement of wholesale electricity in 13 states, including Ohio.

        “We just wanted to emphasize that nuclear power offers the reliability and resiliency we need for the national security of our country. We are concerned that all these baseloads are coming off and at some point have to ask if we are able to find other sources to replace them,” Stahl said.

        Regional transmission organizations such as PJM will have a say in the country’s future energy mix after a decision in January by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to reject a proposal by the Department of Energy to set pricing rules that compensate coal and nuclear-powered generators for on-site storage of fuel.

        Instead, the FERC has asked transmission organizations to provide data as to whether the commission and markets need to take additional action to address resiliency issues of the electrical grid.

        PJM is expected to submit its response to the commission by March 9.

        Stahl said he is also concerned a bankruptcy filing by FirstEnergy will be perceived as the final step before shuttering the Davis-Besse and Perry plants.

        “If a bankruptcy filing does come it’s really not the end,” he said. “That’s when we really need to start looking for a buyer. Of course, a buyer will have to believe natural gas prices are going to move upward and they’ll be able to make a profit.”

        The U.S. Energy Information Administration expects the share of U.S. total utility-scale electricity generation from natural gas-fired power plants to rise from 32 percent in 2017 to 33 percent in 2018 and to 34 percent in 2019. 

        The forecast generation share from coal in 2018 averages 30 percent, about the same as in 2017, but then falls to 29 percent in 2019. The nuclear share of generation was 20 percent in 2017 and is projected to average 20 percent in 2018 and 19 percent in 2019.




Did you watch any of the TV coverage of President George H.W. Bush?
573389591 [{"id":"299","title":"Yes. He was a great president.","votes":"16","pct":39.02,"type":"x","order":"1","resources":[]},{"id":"300","title":"No. I didn't care much for him as president.","votes":"14","pct":34.15,"type":"x","order":"2","resources":[]},{"id":"301","title":"No. I was busy.","votes":"11","pct":26.83,"type":"x","order":"3","resources":[]}] ["#194e84","#3b6b9c","#1f242a","#37414a","#60bb22","#f2babb"] sbar 160 160 /component/communitypolls/vote/109-bush No answer selected. Please try again. Thank you for your vote. Answers Votes ...