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Ohio officials and lobbyists investigated in alleged nuclear power plant pay to play scheme


Federal investigators continue to investigate a racketeering scheme in Ohio. The plan was to increase electric rates to subsidize two aging nuclear power plants situated along Lake Erie owned by First Energy. One of the nuclear power plants is Davis-Besse, just 20 miles from the Michigan border. It’s a problem-plagued plant according to regulators.

Federal investigators allege Ohio Speaker of the House Larry Householder and four others were involved in a scheme to arrange for subsidies for the nearly bankrupt nuclear plants in exchange for tens of millions of dollars.

“The conspiracy was to pass and maintain a $1.5 billion bailout in return for $61 million of dark money,” said U.S. Attorney David DeVillers, announcing the indictment last month.

He said the conspirators had three goals in mind.

“One, to line the pockets of the defendants, two, to build a power base for Larry Householder and three, to further the conspiracy, that is to further the affairs of this enterprise,” DeVillers outlined.

On Thursday the Ohio House stripped Householder of his Speaker’s position.

DeVillers indicates the two years of covert investigations is only the beginning of the investigation.

Lester Graham reports for The Environment Report. He has reported on public policy, politics, and issues regarding race and gender inequity. He was previously with The Environment Report at Michigan Public from 1998-2010.
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