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Fighting Bailouts for Outdated Coal Plants in Ohio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Earthjustice is litigating in Ohio against proposals by two major utilities to force customers to prop up eight outdated power plants—seven coal and one nuclear—for the next 15 to 35 years.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

June 19, 2019 | Legal Document

Ohio Supreme Court First Energy DMR Decision

The Ohio Supreme Court overturned the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio’s approval of a FirstEnergy bailout that left customers footing a nearly $600 million bill. The bailout — misleadingly named the Distribution Modernization Rider (DMR) — has cost customers up to $204 million annually since it was approved in 2017, and, as the Supreme Court ruled, provided no guarantees the funds would go to grid modernization, nor that there were proper customer safeguards in place. Instead, those funds could be siphoned off from FirstEnergy’s Ohio utilities, and used to bail FirstEnergy Corp. out of its poor coal and nuclear investments.
October 16, 2017 | Legal Document

FirstEnergy Appeal to Supreme Court of Ohio

Appellant, Sierra Club, in accordance with Sections 4903.11 and 4903.13 of the Ohio Revised Code and Supreme Court Rules of Practice 3.11(D)(2), 5.05, and 10.02, hereby gives notice to the Supreme Court of Ohio and to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (“Appellee” or “Commission”) of its Appeal to this Court from Appellee’s Fifth Entry on Rehearing entered in its journal on October 12, 2016 (Attachment A) and Appellee’s Eighth Entry on Rehearing entered in its journal on August 16, 2017 (Attachment B) in Commission Case No. 14-1207-ELSSO. Appellant was a party of record in the Commission case from which this appeal is taken.