AEP / Dayton Power & Light / Duke Energy / Energy / FirstEnergy

Interested party meetings continuing on OVEC bills

COLUMBUS — “Stakeholders continue to debate a Senate bill to grant cost recovery for utility owners of the Ohio Valley Electric Corporation.

But opponents, viewing the bill (SB 155) and its House companion (HB 239) as ‘bailouts’ at the expense of consumers, remain unconvinced according to one party planning to participate in an interested party meeting next week.

AEP, Dayton Power & Light, Duke Energy, and FirstEnergy are each pushing for passage of the bills. They argue they’re unable to leave the financially disadvantageous OVEC operating agreement without full support from owners in other states that are happier with the status quo.

Both bills are awaiting action in the Senate and House public utilities committees. Chairman Sen. Bill Beagle (R-Tipp City) said lawmakers are still meeting to determine where all parties stand and what if anything can be done to enlist more support.

…Ohio Citizen Action Executive Director Rachel Belz said the group will be at the table at next week’s OVEC meeting but she doubts there are any possible changes sponsors can roll out that would enlist the group’s support.

She said the amount of OVEC-related discussion parties have engaged in over recent years before the Public Utilities Commission and the fact that the bill affects consumers in every part of the state make the OVEC bills a different beast than the ZEN proposal.

‘It’s a bigger uphill climb definitely for the ZEN bill than OVEC,’ Ms. Belz said of odds of the bills’ passage. ‘But there’s also a heck of a lot of opposition on all of these bailouts.'”

—  Gongwer News Service

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