I read Micheal Shellenberger’s op-ed with amusement. The head of Environmental Progress, who has long supported the nuclear industry — albeit to protect the environment and combat climate change — clearly lacks understanding of Ohio’s energy markets. Nuclear power has little to do with keeping rates low in Ohio.

Here’s why Ohio has low rates for industrial customers:
  • Ohio is in the PJM wholesale market, the most competitive energy market in the country. Indiana and Michigan are not in PJM, and there is no competitive wholesale market in those jurisdictions. Competition can lower rates, and in PJM it does.
  • Ohio provides economic development subsidies to large industrial users, which reduce their rates by shifting costs onto residential and commercial ratepayers.
Idaho Power’s Solar Project is Cheaper than any Generation Technology

Shellenberger predicts a $35/year price increase for the average customer in 2022. That’s about 2.7%, lower than the increase in the cost of living. As new natural gas and renewable energy facilities come on-line, those prices should decline, not increase. Idaho Power just got a bid of 2.15 cents per kilowatt for a 120 megawatt solar project. That’s cheaper than any generation technology.

We support energy efficiency and renewable energy programs as long-term strategies

My organization, Ohio Partners for Affordable Energy, has long fought for affordable rates for residential and small commercial customers. We haven’t taken a position on the proposed nuclear subsidies, but we support energy efficiency and renewable energy programs as long-term strategies for cost-control and addressing climate change. Eliminating or significantly reduce those programs, including those for the low-income customers we serve, is not in the public interest.

We need an ‘all of the above’ approach to combat climate change, and nuclear is a part of that, but cutting efficiency and renewable energy funding short sighted, will reduce new investment in Ohio, and most importantly won’t help this planet survive.

Dave Rinebolt

Executive Director

Ohio Partners for Affordable Energy