AEP / Coal / Energy / FirstEnergy

Bill in Ohio House would permanently subsidize 2 coal-fired power plants

The bill in the Ohio House is limited to two coal-fired power plants owned by Ohio Valley Electric, a consortium of Ohio utilities that includes investor-owned companies like AEP and FirstEnergy, as well as electric cooperative Buckeye Power. photo: Columbus Dispatch

COLUMBUS — “A new proposal in the Ohio House would provide a perpetual subsidy for two coal-fired power plants owned jointly by American Electric Power and just about every other major electricity utility in the state.

House Bill 239 calls for the owners of Ohio Valley Electric Corp. to receive a guarantee of income at times when the market price of electricity is less than the cost to operate the power plants. That money would come from a charge to consumers.

 If the market shifts and the plants become profitable, customers would receive a credit.

…The Office of the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel is still reviewing the bill and hasn’t offered an opinion.

However, Dan Doron, a spokesman for the consumer advocate, observed in an email that “Ohio consumers already pay higher electric rates than residents in 33 other states.

‘Unfortunately, the electric utilities continue to ask state government for subsidies that increase Ohioans’ monthly bills.'”

— Dan Gearino, Columbus Dispatch

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