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Fighting Bailouts for Outdated Coal Plants in Ohio

A coal elevator at a coal plant in Ohio.

A coal elevator at a coal plant in Ohio.

Jeremy Stump / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

What's at Stake

Ohio customers deserve utilities looking to seize the economic, environmental and health benefits presented by clean energy and to transition away from aging and uneconomic coal plants.

Instead, FirstEnergy and AEP want to keep dirty power plants running indefinitely and let their customers foot the bill.

Overview

Earthjustice is litigating in Ohio against proposals by two major utilities to force customers to prop up eight outdated power plants—seven coal and one nuclear—for the next 15 to 35 years. Proposals by FirstEnergy and American Electric Power could cost customers billions of dollars while guaranteeing profits for corporate shareholders who should instead be investing in clean energy resources.

The first is a proposal from FirstEnergy’s Ohio affiliates to require ratepayers to pay the costs of operating the Sammis coal plant, along with the Davis Besse nuclear plant, for the next 15 years.

The second is a proposal by Ohio Power Company, an affiliate of American Electric Power, that would saddle ratepayers with the costs of operating all or portions of four coal plants for the next 20 to 35 years or more. Such proposals are bad for ratepayers, would crowd out investments in renewables and energy efficiency, and are directly contrary to the carbon reduction goals set forth in the Clean Power Plan.

Ohio customers deserve better than what FirstEnergy and AEP are proposing. They deserve energy utilities that are looking to seize the economic, environmental and health benefits presented by clean energy and to transition away from aging and uneconomic coal plants. Instead, these utilities want to keep dirty power plants running indefinitely and let their customers foot the bill.

Case ID

2816, 2839

Attorneys

Clients

Case Updates

October 18, 2016 | In the News: Midwest Energy News

FirstEnergy ‘Bailout’ Raises Questions of Corporate Separation

Shannon Fisk, Managing Attorney, Coal Program, Earthjustice: “The thought that utilities could start coming in and receiving money that is in no way connected to any specific service they’re supposed to provide could be a pretty dangerous precedent. Where do we stop? And how do we ensure that customers are actually benefiting from the money that they’re paying?”

October 12, 2016 | Legal Document

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio

In the matter of the Applicant Ohio Edison Company , the Cleveland Eelectric Illuminating Company, and the Toledo Edison Company for authority to provide for a standard service offer persuant to R.C. 4928.143 in the form of an Electric Security Plan. On rehearing, the Commission finds that the Companies' Proposal to modify Rider RRS should not be adopted and that the Staff's alternative proposal to establish Rider DMR should be adopted. Further, the Commission makes additional modifications to the Stipulations approved by the Commission to ensure that the Stipulations, as a package, benefit ratepayers and the public interest and that the Stipulatioiis violate no important regulatory principles or practices.