Lake County commissioner responds to claim that he doesn’t support Perry Nuclear Power Plant
Perry Township trustees’ vote to appoint the community’s proxy for the Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council’s annual meeting turned out to be anything but routine.
Trustees, at their Aug. 14 meeting, considered a motion to approve Lake County Commissioner Dan Troy as the township’s proxy for NOPEC’s annual meeting.
But before a vote was taken, Trustee Robert Dawson explained why he was opposed to Troy’s appointment.
“This is nothing personal against Dan Troy, but, you might remember that (Lake County) Commissioner (Jerry) Cirino advised us that NOPEC and Commissioner Troy had done nothing positive to help with a solution on the Perry Nuclear Power Plant.”
“In fact … I’m learning this as Commissioner Cirino has spoken a couple of different times, that NOPEC has taken the position that they are not in favor of contributing toward a solution for the Perry Nuclear Power Plant. I guess my feeling is at this point in time, this is the single biggest issue facing the community, so I’m going to be voting “no” on this out of principle.”
FirstEnergy Solutions on March 28 announced its plans to close three of its nuclear power plants, including the Perry Nuclear Power Plant in North Perry Village and Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station in Oak Harbor.
The plants are struggling to compete with the cheaper cost of natural gas.
FirstEnergy Solutions, a competitive generation subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp., said it plans to decommission Perry Nuclear Power Plant in 2021.
Three days after announcing the nuclear plant closings, FirstEnergy Solutions and FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Co. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
At the Aug. 14 Perry trustees meeting, fellow trustee Rick Amos tried to be diplomatic in responding to Dawson’s views.
“It’s the annual meeting and we certainly don’t want our residents not be represented for that continued discount (on electric and natural gas rates) … as important as the power plant issue is, obviously the issue of maintaining the discount requires that they have the meeting,” Amos said. “I appreciate Bob’s stance he took because I think it’s important to be said. At the same time, I don’t want us not to be theoretically represented.”
Amos was joined by Trustee Nancy Steele in approving Troy’s appointment, allowing the measure to pass with 2-1 vote.
NOPEC is a provider of energy aggregation programs for communities throughout Ohio. The organization uses the principle of buying in bulk to get lower rates on electricity and natural gas for its group of members than those members could receive individually.
NOPEC currently supplies 951 natural gas customers and 1,103 electric customers in Perry Township, said NOPEC Marketing Director Dave Jankowski.