Utility’s Top D.C. Lobbyist Hosted Dinner Wednesday Night for President Trump; Lobbyist is Former Campaign Chair for Now-Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Who Would Decide on FirstEnergy’s Emergency Appeal.
WASHINGTON, D.C.///April 5, 2018///Now that top FirstEnergy D.C. lobbyist Jeff Miller has hosted a dinner for President Donald J. Trump, America needs to make sure that taxpayers and millions of ratepayers in 12 states do no get “stuck with the check” in the form of a multi-billion-dollar bailout tab for the bankrupt utility‘s nuclear and coal plants, according to Tim Judson, executive director, Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS).
FirstEnergy is in the midst of a frantic campaign to get an emergency federal bailout for three nuclear plants and two coal plants in Ohio and Pennsylvania. After having been rebuffed by state lawmakers in both states, FirstEnergy then failed to persuade the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to take action. Its next step was to announce upcoming closure dates for all five power plants. This week, the parent company of FirstEnergy filed for bankruptcy, and the company turned up the heat on an appeal to U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry for emergency action that would sidestep FERC.
As part of the new lobbying push, FirstEnergy’s chief D.C. lobbyist Jeff Miller hosted a dinner Wednesday night for President Donald J. Trump. Miller is tightly wired into the Trump Administration, having served previously as presidential campaign manager for Rick Perry and now as an organizer of America First Action, a pro-Trump super PAC.‘
NIRS Executive Director Tim Judson said: “We are hoping that this dinner is not going to be a situation where U.S. taxpayers and ratepayers end up picking up the tab for a $3 billion or more bailout of FirstEnergy. It is hard to imagine more of a ‘Washington swamp’ situation than this. We have a special-interest appeal by FirstEnergy. We have a top lobbyist meeting with the President at a small dinner. That same lobbyist is raising money for a pro-Trump Super PAC and asking for ‘emergency action‘ from someone who had a Presidential campaign that he ran! It’s difficult to see how taxpayers and ratepayers have a chance in this kind of a situation.”
A November 2016 report by NIRS concluded that a federal bailout for nuclear alone could add up to $280 billion by 2030. When a major nuclear reactor project in South Carolina failed this year, ratepayers were left holding the bag for $9 billion or more—even though they will never see a single electron of electricity for their steep investment.
2018 marks the 40th anniversary of Nuclear Information and Resource Service. NIRS was founded to be the national information and networking center for citizens and environmental activists concerned about nuclear power, radioactive waste, radiation and sustainable energy issues. www.nirs.org
MEDIA CONTACT: Max Karlin, (703) 276-3255 or firstname.lastname@example.org.