Bill O’Keefe misses the mark in his column concerning nuclear energy in Ohio (“Say ‘no’ to FirstEnergy nuclear subsidy,” July 8, The Lima News), and his thinking fails to consider the long-term best interests of the state’s residents. A diverse energy mix that includes nuclear – as well as natural gas, coal and renewable resources – is the best way to ensure safe, reliable and affordable electricity for Ohioans.
More competition means lower prices, and fuel diversity protects Ohio residents and businesses from price spikes and service disruptions associated with overreliance on a single energy source. In fact, a recent report by the Brattle Group estimated that without nuclear energy, Ohio consumers would pay more for electricity annually due to reduced supplies which increase wholesale and capacity prices for power. Ohio also would need to import more power from generators out of state, and customers in states who import power generally pay higher rates.
In addition to saving customers money, nuclear energy is reliable energy we can depend on. With onsite fuel supplies, nuclear facilities are not impacted by weather events, labor stoppages or transportation disruptions that can affect other types of electricity generation. And, as an in-state energy source, Ohio’s nuclear plants support 4,300 jobs, drive $25 million per year in tax revenue and avoid more than 9 million tons of carbon emissions annually.
Nuclear is a critical piece of an “all of the above” energy strategy essential to maintaining reliable, affordable, and increasingly clean electricity in the years to come. I encourage all Ohioans to join me in supporting the state’s nuclear plants.
Former U.S. Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH), Washington, D.C.