"A plan to have Ohio taxpayers bail out the state's two struggling nuclear power plants was a non-starter in the legislature just a few months ago. Now, it's a high priority.
What happened? New state lawmakers, many of whom owe their elections in large part to a powerful backer with a vested interest in fossil fuels and nuclear power.
FirstEnergy, the Akron-based utility that long owned the Ohio nuclear plants, spent heavily in Republican legislative primaries. The company and its allies backed the winners in enough races to get its preferred candidates into top positions.
FirstEnergy's aggressive strategy has broad implications for Ohio's energy future. It has been a leading adversary of policies that support renewable energy and energy efficiency, while at the same time seeking state and federal bailouts for its older nuclear and coal plants. It was among those urging the Trump administration to use emergency powers to provide financial support to uncompetitive fossil fuels plants that otherwise might close."