Ohio AG Files Charges Against FirstEnergy in Nuke Bribery Case

Last week Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost filed a racketeering lawsuit against FirstEnergy, former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder, and four of Householder’s associates, all related to an alleged $60 million bribery scandal in passing the hugely unpopular House Bill 6 (see FirstEnergy Involved in Bribery Scheme to Pass $1B Nuke Bailout Law). HB 6 gives Energy Harbor, a FirstEnergy subsidiary, $150 million per year for seven years ($1.1 billion) in ratepayer funds to prop up the company’s uneconomic nuclear power plants.
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How Many More OH Legislators Guilty of Bribes in FirstEnergy Case?

We’ll ask the question no one else dares to ask publicly: How many more Ohio legislators are in the back pocket of FirstEnergy (i.e. Energy Harbor), guilty of taking part in an alleged $60 million bribery scandal that paid politicians to ensure Energy Harbor would get $1.1 billion of ratepayers’ money to prop up their economically failing nuclear power plants? It sure seems like there may be other Ohio legislators who have been paid off too, given their unwillingness to support the effort to overturn House Bill (HB) 6 and end the gravy train for Energy Harbor.
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Ohio AG Asks Court to Stop Payments to FirstEnergy Nuke Plants

FirstEnergy Solutions (now called Energy Harbor) allegedly paid $60 million in bribes to (now former) Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and four of his associates to gain their assistance in passing the hugely unpopular House Bill 6 (see FirstEnergy Involved in Bribery Scheme to Pass $1B Nuke Bailout Law). HB 6, which became law, gives Energy Harbor $1.1 billion in ratepayer funds over seven years to prop up the company’s uneconomic nuclear power plants (disadvantaging other energy sources, like gas-fired power plants). Ohio’s Attorney General is asking a bankruptcy court to stop those annual $150 million payments.
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Not Guilty Pleas in FirstEnergy Nuke Bailout Bribery Scandal

Former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder

FirstEnergy Solutions (now called Energy Harbor) allegedly paid $60 million in bribes to (now former) Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and four of his associates to gain their assistance in passing the hugely unpopular House Bill 6 (see FirstEnergy Involved in Bribery Scheme to Pass $1B Nuke Bailout Law). HB 6, which became law, gives Energy Harbor $1.1 billion in ratepayer funds to prop up the company’s uneconomic nuclear power plants (disadvantaging other energy sources, like gas-fired power plants). Four of the five defendants have just entered pleas–all of them “not guilty.”
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Multiple Lawsuits Filed re FirstEnergy Nuke Bailout Bribery Scandal

FirstEnergy is in the middle of an excrement storm. The company’s former subsidiary FirstEnergy Solutions (now called Energy Harbor) allegedly paid $60 million in bribes to Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and several of his associates to gain their assistance passing the hugely unpopular House Bill 6 (see FirstEnergy Involved in Bribery Scheme to Pass $1B Nuke Bailout Law). HB 6, which became law, gives Energy Harbor $1.1 billion in ratepayer funds to prop up the company’s uneconomic nuclear power plants. Multiple class action lawsuits have been filed against the FirstEnergy and Energy Harbor since the bribery scandal news broke…
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FirstEnergy Involved in Bribery Scheme to Pass $1B Nuke Bailout Law

We told you that the law passed in Ohio (House Bill 6) granting FirstEnergy (now called Energy Harbor) $1 billion in corporate welfare from ratepayers, destroying the fair playing field for natgas-fired electric plants in the bargain, stunk to high heaven. We told you that the entire thing was corrupt (see OH Nuclear Bailout Corruption: Gas Sacrificed for Nuke Investors). We didn’t realize just how right we were! Yesterday the Republican Speaker of the Ohio House, Larry Householder (along with several associates) was arrested on racketeering charges for taking $60 million in bribes from FirstEnergy for promoting and pushing (against the will of the people, we might add), HB 6. FirstEnergy has been served with a subpoena related to the case, although they have not (yet) been indicted. This is the largest bribery scheme in Ohio’s history!
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Legal Effort to Overturn FirstEnergy $1B Ohio Nuke Bailout Dead

The Ohio Supreme Court, on Christmas Eve, threw a lifeline to an effort to overturn an Ohio law that provides corporate welfare in the form of $1 billion of ratepayer (taxpayer) money to FirstEnergy, which recently changed its name to Energy Harbor (see OH Supreme Court Keeps Door Open to Reverse $1B Nuke Bailout). Last week the Supremes snatched the lifeline away and the current effort to block the $1 billion bailout is officially dead.
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FirstEnergy Loses OH Supreme Court Case to Block Referendum

The mafiosi at FirstEnergy lost their lawsuit filed with the Ohio Supreme Court in a bid to block a referendum aimed at giving all Ohio residents the right to vote to overturn an ill-conceived corporate welfare law passed that puts $1 billion into FirstEnergy’s pocket in order to keep two failing nuclear power plants open. Although they lost the case, FirstEnergy claims the Supreme Court decision is a “victory” for their attempt to keep their grubby hands on taxpayer’s money. How does that work?
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FirstEnergy Uses Questionable Tactics Against Referendum Workers

All we can say is, shame on FirstEnergy. They hired people to block petition gatherers trying to get signatures for a referendum for the November ballot. The tactics used can only be described as bullying–sometimes physical. Workers are trying to get enough signatures on a petition to place a referendum on the November ballot. The referendum, if adopted, would overturn House Bill 6 which grants a $1 billion bailout to FirstEnergy’s economically failing nuclear power plants (see Ohio Nuke Bailout Law Means Fewer Natgas-Fired Electric Plants). FirstEnergy doesn’t want to give up that money.
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FirstEnergy Spends $1M/Week on Ads Claiming Chinese Grid Takeover

Ohio’s major newspapers continue to push back against phony commercials being run by FirstEnergy in a desperate attempt to block a referendum to overturn House Bill (HB) 6 (see FirstEnergy Runs Attack Ad, Claims China Controls OH NatGas Plants). HB 6, a corporate welfare bill, was recently passed to prop up two FirstEnergy bankrupt nuclear power plants and several coal-fired plants, soaking ratepayers in order to feed the FirstEnergy beast (see Ohio Nuke Bailout Law Means Fewer Natgas-Fired Electric Plants).
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FirstEnergy Asks OH Supreme Court to Block Bailout Referendum

FirstEnergy continues its desperate attempt to prevent a referendum measure from hitting the fall ballot in Ohio that would overturn a recently passed (very bad) law that bails out FirstEnergy’s failing nuclear power plants in the state to the tune of $1.5 billion. Earlier this week we told you FirstEnergy is running tinfoil hat commercials claiming China would soon control Ohio’s electric grid if the bailout bill is overturned (see FirstEnergy Runs Attack Ad, Claims China Controls OH NatGas Plants). Now FirstEnergy is asking the Ohio Supreme Court to block the ballot measure, denying voters the opportunity to vote.
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FirstEnergy Runs Attack Ad, Claims China Controls OH NatGas Plants

“Bizarre” is the only word that comes to mind to describe a despicable, lowest-of-the-low, lying attack ad being run in Ohio by a front group for FirstEnergy meant to defend and preserve a horrible corporate welfare bailout law passed to prop up FirstEnergy’s economically dying nuclear (and coal) power plants. The $1 million ad campaign claims if the new law is repealed (a good chance of that happening), that somehow China will be in charge of the electric grid in Ohio. It is totally wackadoodle and an outright lie.
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FirstEnergy Knocks $100M Off Sale Price of 4 PA Gas Power Plants

FirstEnergy, based in Akron, OH, is one of the nation’s largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York. FirstEnergy owns a variety of regulated and non-regulated power generation plants. Last November the company announced it wants to sell five power generating plants, four of them natural gas-fired plants in Pennsylvania, plus a hydroelectric plant in Virginia (see FirstEnergy Selling 4 NatGas-Fired Electric Plants in PA). The plants being sold are non-regulated–part of FirstEnergy’s strategy to become a 100% “regulated” utility in the next 12 months. Last December FirstEnergy announced they had found a buyer, LS Power Equity Partners, willing to pay $885 million (later revised to $925 million) for the whole package (see FirstEnergy Finds Buyer for 4 PA NatGas-Fired Power Plants). However, negotiating the finer points of the deal has been “a challenge” and now FirstEnergy says in order to complete the deal, they’re willing to lower the price to $825 million…
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40 Ohio Groups Band Together to Oppose FirstEnergy’s Nuke Bailout

In April, MDN brought you news of an effort underway in Ohio to tax Ohio ratepayers $5.4 billion and give that money to FirstEnergy to prevent some of its nuclear power plants from closing (see OH Law Would Bailout Nuke Plants for $5.4B, Kill NatGas Plants). Given stiff regulations, nuke plants face stiff competition in the free marketplace. Natural gas-fired plants are cheaper to build and operate, and deliver cheaper electricity. Since nukes can’t compete in the free and open market, FirstEnergy wants to rig the game, all in the name of “energy diversity” and keeping their nuke plants open (and investors happy). Rate-paying Ohioans get screwed in the process. Some 40 groups have banded together for form the Coalition Against Nuclear Bailouts. Some are big groups, some are individuals. They are diverse. For example, the far-left AARP (disgusting organization) is in the coalition. So too is the Ohio Oil and Gas Association (OOGA) and the National Association of Royalty Owners (NARO). Plus some pastors of churches, and local politicians. Feels kind of weird to support an organization with groups like the AARP in it. But perhaps the enemy of my enemy is my friend. At least in this case. It is, truly, a nonpartisan (or should we say bipartisan) coalition that has risen up to fight the nuclear bailout…Continue reading

FirstEnergy Upgrading W PA Electric Grid, Some Benefit for Shale

FirstEnergy is one of the nation’s largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York. We’ve reported on a number of projects launched by FirstEnergy to assist the shale industry–running power lines to natural gas processing plants, etc. (see FirstEnergy Investing $100M in Electric Projects for WV Marcellus). FirstEnergy has just announced another $235 million of upgrades/investments in its West Penn service area. Some of those upgrades are targeted at serving the shale industry. But FirstEnergy is conflicted. Although it loves to help midstream companies and drillers by selling them electricity, it doesn’t like it when private, independent (and competitive) companies actually produce the electricity, from shale gas, that competes with FirstEnergy’s own electric supplies. In Ohio, FirstEnergy is attempting to get the state to re-regulate the electric industry to freeze out new natgas-fired electric plants (see OH Fight to Re-Regulate Electric Industry – Impacts on Shale). So although FirstEnergy professes its love of the shale industry, it’s a conditional love…
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Buyer of FirstEnergy’s PA NatGas Power Plants Revealed

FirstEnergy, based in Akron, OH, is one of the nation’s largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York. FirstEnergy owns a variety of regulated and non-regulated power generation plants. In November the company announced it wants to sell six power generating plants in PA, four of them natural gas-fired plants (see FirstEnergy Selling 4 NatGas-Fired Electric Plants in PA). The plants being sold are non-regulated–part of FirstEnergy’s strategy to become a 100% “regulated” utility in the next 18 months. In December FirstEnergy announced they found a buyer willing to pay $885 million for the four natgas plants in PA (see FirstEnergy Finds Buyer for 4 PA NatGas-Fired Power Plants). However, the buyer’s identity remained a secret–until now. LS Power Equity Partners III LP, a New York-based power developer, is the buyer of the four natgas-fired electric plants…
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