Baard Energy / Coal

Sandy Buchanan to Gov. Kasich: Claw back taxpayer funds from Baard scandal

CLEVELAND — I am writing on behalf of Ohio Citizen Action’s 80,000 members. We urge you to claw back as much taxpayer money as possible from the now-defunct Baard Energy coal refinery project. We fully support clawbacks, well-described by your development chief, Mark Kvamme as follows:

The first thing I said the first week I was there is we will claw back. If you don’t do what you say you’re going to do, it’s not right. Now, if you’re on the edge, and you said you were going to create 30 jobs and you create 28, we’re going to work with you. But we had one situation where they said they were going to create 100, and they created 10. Guess what? It’s coming back.

The Baard Energy fiasco involved a string of broken promises by the company, not only to Ohio taxpayers, but to its contractors as well. The Columbiana County Port Authority has received $805,500 in state money for the proposed Baard coal-to-liquids facility.

In its various applications to the Department for funding for this project over a period of many years, the Port Authority promised that the project would employ 450 full time workers and up to 4,000 construction workers.  The project has not produced any of the promised jobs, and never even broke ground…

— Sandy Buchanan, Executive Director, Ohio Citizen Action