A U.S. bankruptcy judge this week denied FirstEnergy Solutions’ (FES) request to issue expedited approval of a settlement agreement. According to this article by John Funk of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the sticking point centers on a provision that absolves former parent company FirstEnergy Corp. of expensive remediation and decommissioning costs of both nuclear and coal power plants.
Numerous federal and state agencies cautioned the judge of the impropriety of letting FirstEnergy off the hook for known liabilities. Customers have been paying for clean-up costs for several decades but the ownership wants to escape its liability under the proposed agreement. If approved, such a move would likely transfer the clean-up costs to Ohio utility customers or Ohio taxpayers.
Also in the hearing, counsel for FES told the court that the nuclear plants may not be closed as scheduled: “… with help from our state legislators … maybe there is even hope for these units past the announced deactivation [dates],” said Brad Kahn on behalf of FES.
Hold on to your wallets and purses as FES now tries again to lever state lawmakers to give them a bailout to benefit their owners and FirstEnergy. 3/21/2019