Chairman Wilson, Vice Chairman McColley, Ranking Member Williams, and Members of the Energy and Public Utilities Committee, thank you for the opportunity to submit testimony in support of House Bill 6 (HB 6). My name is Guy Parmigian, and I have the pleasure of serving as the Superintendent of the Benton-Carroll-Salem School District, located in Oak Harbor, Ohio.
I applaud the House of Representatives for passing HB 6 and for recognizing that this important legislation will improve Ohio’s clean energy efforts while protecting vital economic contributions that Ohio public schools rely on for funding.
Across our school district, 220 dedicated teachers and staff members proudly serve 1,500 students, helping to prepare them for future success. As you may know, Oak Harbor is home to the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station. We consider the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station to be a critical economic stakeholder, along with its employees and families.
Davis-Besse employs more than 700 local Ottawa County residents, many of whom are parents of students in our school district. In addition to the stability, job security, and high-paying wages that benefit our community as a result of Davis-Besse, the plant generates important revenue that in-turn propels the local economy. In 2017, the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station paid more than $7.5 million annually in personal and property taxes – funds that are critically important to our school district.
In fact, Davis-Besse was responsible for contributing 40 percent to annual tax revenues for the school district.
Along with the economic benefits of the plant, I am concerned that if we allow Ohio’s nuclear generating plants to close prematurely, they will not be replaced with clean energy, such as wind and solar, but by harmful natural gas and coal alternatives. Ohio depends on nuclear energy to provide a clean, reliable energy source, as the Davis-Besse and Perry plants produce 90 percent of our state’s emission-free electricity, which prevents carbon emissions and other harmful pollutants from entering the atmosphere.
Ohio’s nuclear plants avoid more than 9 million tons of carbon emissions each year. This is the equivalent to taking 2 million cars off the road, which is valued at a social cost of $600 million annually. The bottom line is that both the future of our school district and the health of our children are aligned closely with ensuring the continued operation of Davis-Besse and Perry.
Across our community, the future of Davis-Besse has created unpredictability and uncertainty among our staff and students as families worry about the future of their own jobs. I urge you to follow the lead of your colleagues in the House and support this legislation to keep the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station open for business. Establishing a mechanism that reflects and preserves the value of Ohio’s nuclear plants is ultimately in the best interest of our communities, our students, and their families.
Superintendent Guy Parmigian,
Benton-Carroll-Salem School District