I wasn’t around at the time, but I am sure Ohio politicians did not consider bail outs for other failing technologies. I am sure a lot of ice companies went out of business when refrigerators were invented; what about the kerosene lamp and buggy whip companies. Coal and nuclear power plants are equally antiquated. They cost way too much to operate. Just ask FirstEnergy Solutions, they are going bankrupt for that very reason. It is mind boggling to try and figure out how our state politicians could be foolish enough to bail out a technological loser.
Then take several more steps down the stupidity trail. Our politicians did not get any significant concessions from the company or the union. Even Obama and his crew were smart enough to get concessions from General Motors and the United Auto Workers, before they bailed out GM. One thing is for certain; the Federal Government was risking much less bailing out GM, than Ohio is bailing out FirstEnergy. Ohio has to balance its budget when it blunders. It can’t print money like the Fed.
First Energy Solutions scared our politicians with the shutdown threat. Without those plants Ohio would have a significant energy deficit; buying more energy from outside Ohio. Electric rates would temporarily increase. The politicians needed to call First Energy’s bluff. It would have been much smarter to spend the money giving tax incentives for a couple of new natural gas powered electric generating companies.