Energy

Consumers could pay to clean up old natural-gas plants

COLUMBUS — “Natural-gas utilities want to change the law to make clear that consumers rather than shareholders can be charged cleanup costs for about 90 abandoned natural-gas plants in the state, according to an amendment that might get tucked into the state budget.

Some of the gas plants date to the 1800s, when communities used coal and other fuels to manufacture natural gas for use in lighting. The plants have all shut down, leaving polluted sites that have largely been absorbed by the state’s major utilities.

Some of those utilities, led by Duke Energy, are asking lawmakers to approve an amendment that would expand the companies’ ability to charge customers for cleaning up the sites. The proposal is one of more than a thousand items that groups are hoping to add to the budget, often with little discussion of the implications.”

— Dan Gearino, The Columbus Dispatch

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