| Article published Wednesday, April 3, 2002|
Kaptur’s Davis-Besse remarks incense Ottawa
Congresswoman stands by
belief that nuclear plant should close
understands why county leaders are upset.
BLADE STAFF WRITER
OAK HARBOR, OHIO -
Ottawa County officials have come to the defense of FirstEnergy
Corp.’s Davis-Besse nuclear plant by telling U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur
(D., Toledo) that they are displeased by her position to permanently
shut down the facility.
Fellow Democrat Carl Koebel, Ottawa
County commission president, said in a letter he sent Miss Kaptur on
Friday that he believes the comments she made in that day’s edition
of The Blade were "nothing more than political grandstanding that
will have a very negative impact on Ottawa County."
you had addressed your concerns with us before publicly attacking
the nuclear power industry," he wrote.
Darrell Opfer, a
former Ottawa County commissioner and Oak Harbor Democrat who served
nearly seven years in the Ohio House of Representatives, expressed
similar views in a letter he sent Miss Kaptur on
Closing Davis-Besse would hurt Ottawa County as much
as closing the Toledo Jeep Assembly Plant would hurt Lucas County,
"I am very concerned that the [Sept. 11] tragedy
and the corrosion problem at the local plant are being used by those
who oppose nuclear power on ideological grounds," Mr. Opfer wrote.
He became director of an economic development agency, the Ottawa
County Improvement Corp., following his resignation from the Ohio
House in 1999.
Mr. Opfer’s successor, state Rep. Chris
Redfern (D., Catawba Island), said he agrees with Mr. Opfer’s
analogy, but would not elaborate.
Robert Saunders said in a letter to Miss Kaptur that his company
"would not place the public, or our company’s future, at risk by
operating the plant under anything but the highest standards of
safety and reliability."
Miss Kaptur said last night she
stands by what she said last week.
She said she believes
Ottawa County officials are "obliged to speak their mind" because of
Davis-Besse’s role as a major employer.
"They are doing their
best to represent a major economic interest in their county," she
In his letter, Mr. Koebel said he and Miss Kaptur "will
never see eye-to-eye on this issue."
During an interview
yesterday, he said he believes she "jumped the gun."
floored me that she took that stand," said Mr.