Did FirstEnergy spend ratepayer money to secure $1.3B bailout?

Ohio consumer watchdog wants to know

COLUMBUS –  A federal investigation alleges an energy company, believed to be FirstEnergy and its affiliates, spent nearly $61 million to secure a $1.3 billion bailout for two northern Ohio nuclear plants.

But whose money paid for the scheme?

The Ohio Consumers' Counsel, a ratepayer watchdog, wants to make sure utility customers didn't foot the bill.

On Tuesday, Ohio Consumers' Counsel Bruce Weston asked the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, which oversees utilities such as FirstEnergy, to audit the Akron-based company. 

The counsel wants the PUCO to dig into several topics: 

  • Did FirstEnergy and its affiliated companies use money collected from consumers to help pass and defend House Bill 6, the law which subsidizes nuclear energy?
  • Did FirstEnergy and its affiliated companies use money from a specific fee on customers' bills improperly? 
  • Are FirstEnergy and its affiliates too connected? "

-- Jesse Balmert, Cincinnati Enquirer

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