FirstEnergy Nuke Bribery Scandal Deepens – OH Regulator Resigns

The plot thickens in the $60 million FirstEnergy nuclear subsidy bribery scandal. Last week MDN brought you the news that Ohio’s Attorney General, David Yost, had filed a second lawsuit to stop the collection of money from ratepayers that funds $150 million annual payments to FirstEnergy provided for under the law known as House Bill 6 (see OH AG Files 2nd Lawsuit to Block FirstEnergy $150M Nuke Payments). We also told you, in the same post, about a potential sixth person being investigated for involvement in the scandal. We have breaking news about the sixth person…
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OH AG Files 2nd Lawsuit to Block FirstEnergy $150M Nuke Payments

We have a couple of important updates in the neverending saga of the biggest corruption scandal ever to hit Ohio. In July, then-Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and four of his associates were indicted for felonies 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). Ohio’s Attorney General, Dave Yost, has just filed a second lawsuit to stop the collection of money from ratepayers that funds $150 million annual payments to FirstEnergy provided for under HB 6. We also have news about a potential sixth person being investigated for involvement in the scandal.
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Gulfport Energy Files for Pre-arranged Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

We hoped it wouldn’t happen, but warned you it might when Gulfport Energy announced several weeks ago it had missed a debt payment and was in “restructuring” talks (see Gulfport Energy Misses Debt Payment, in “Restructuring” Talks). On Saturday, Gulfport, the third-largest driller in the Ohio Utica Shale (by the number of wells drilled), announced it had filed for a “pre-arranged” Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
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FirstEnergy Fires CEO, OH Cities Sue to Block Nuke Bailout Pymts

It’s all starting to come undone for FirstEnergy Corporation. Last week two of Ohio’s three largest cities sued to block annual $150 million payments to FirstEnergy’s Energy Harbor subsidiary on the basis those payments are ill-gotten gain, the result of FirstEnergy bribing government officials to pass House Bill 6 (HB 6) and keep it passed (see FirstEnergy Involved in Bribery Scheme to Pass $1B Nuke Bailout Law). Also happening last week: FirstEnergy’s board of directors fired its CEO and two other senior managers in light of the mushrooming scandal.
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2 Defendants Plead Guilty in $60M FirstEnergy Nuclear Bribery Case

In July, now-former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and four of his associates were indicted for felonies 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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PA, OH, WV: Watch Biden in His Own Words on Fracking, Fossil Fuels

Donald Trump is NOT lying about Joe Biden and the words Biden has used about his desire to ban fracking *and* eliminate the use of fossil fuels. We have the video (below) showing clips from various Biden events where he unequivocally states he will ban fracking, and (in time) eliminate the use of all fossil fuels. This is Biden in his own words. So was Biden lying then? Or is he lying now?
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Judge Refuses to Block New FirstEnergy Bribes to Ohio Politicians

This is extremely frustrating. FirstEnergy subsidiary Energy Harbor is accused of bribing former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and several of his associates to pass (and stay passed) a $1.1 billion bailout bill that funnels electric ratepayer (i.e. taxpayer) money into the hands of FirstEnergy, to prop up two uneconomic and failing nuclear power plants (see FirstEnergy Involved in Bribery Scheme to Pass $1B Nuke Bailout Law). It’s happening all over again.
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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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PA & OH Natural Gas Production Nosedived Last Week, Down 2 Bcf/d

Two days ago MDN brought you news that natural gas prices in the Marcellus/Utica region are about to get really ugly, at least for the next couple of months (see Ugly Gas Prices Coming to M-U – Demand Falls More than Production). We now have the other side of the coin to share. M-U producers are shutting-in gas production like crazy. Last week M-U gas flows went down a huge 2 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d)–from 32 to 30 Bcf/d.
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Sec. of Energy Dan Brouillette Touts Ohio Fossil & Petchem Energy

DOE Secretary Dan Brouillette

U.S. Dept. of Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette published an op-ed in the Warren, OH Tribune Chronicle to tout Ohio’s place as the fifth-largest natural gas producer in the country, and the Trump Administration’s support for and hope that it continues. Brouillette says Ohio has “only scratched the surface” of its energy and economic potential, thanks to the Utica Shale.
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Ohio Lawmakers Make Case to Repeal HB 6 Nuke Bailout Law

There are at least a few honest politicians in Columbus, Ohio. Last week several Ohio state legislators made the case to overturn House Bill (HB) 6. Last year 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 HB 6 (see FirstEnergy Involved in Bribery Scheme to Pass $1B Nuke Bailout Law). HB 6 gives Energy Harbor $150 million per year for seven years ($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).
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FERC Says NEXUS Approval in Public Interest re Exports to Canada

In late 2018 a fringe environmental group called the Coalition to Reroute NEXUS (CORN), along with the City of Oberlin, Ohio, filed yet another lawsuit (with the D.C. Court of Appeals) to nullify the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) original decision to approve the NEXUS Pipeline project that runs through Ohio (see CORNballs Return, Ask DC Court to Shut Down NEXUS Pipe). Their argument is that if any of the gas flowing through a pipeline gets exported (to Canada, in this case), the project is not in the (American) public interest and therefore it should not get approved.
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Ohio Utica Shale Production Falls in 2Q20, Down 2nd Qtr in Row

Each quarter the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR) issues an update on Utica (and Marcellus) oil and natural gas production. Apparently ODNR no longer issues a summary press release as they once did. They have, however, published a detailed spreadsheet of all active wells showing oil and gas production by well, which we have below. We do our own summary to show you the top 25 shale gas wells and top 25 shale oil wells for the quarter. We also have a summary of the overall results from the experts at S&P Global Platts.
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Ohio Grange: Fatal Blow for OH Farmers if Biden Bans Fracking

Although Joe Biden is protesting (the lefty doth protest too much, methinks) that he would not ban “all” fracking if he’s elected president, his own words and the words of his pick for VP (Kamala Harris) say otherwise. Biden has endorsed most of the Green New Deal platform pushed by crazy Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Occasional-Cortex (AOC). So yes, if Biden is elected, fracking is pretty much done. Over. Fini. If fracking is banned, according to the Ohio State Grange it will be a catastrophe for farmers in the Buckeye State. Some farmers (many) will simply go out of business.
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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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