Utilities

Subsidies at issue as AEP, FirstEnergy, and Dynegy snipe at each other during debate on Ohio’s energy future

COLUMBUS — “Ohio’s energy industry is facing seismic shifts and the policy fights playing out before legislators and regulators led to a lively debate among representatives of the state’s top utilities at a packed energy conference in Columbus last week.

Executives from the state’s four investor-owned electric utilities and the independent power company with the most generation capacity debated Ohio’s energy future at the Ohio Energy Management Conference, providing an often off-the-cuff look into their thinking.

The execs from Akron-based utility FirstEnergy Corp. and Columbus peer American Electric Power Company Inc. often teamed up against the CEO of Houston-based Dynegy Inc., who has been a burr in the utilities’ sides for insisting on free-market competition and arguing against subsidies.

Ebony Yeboah, FirstEnergy’s vice president of state and regulatory legal affairs, compared Dynegy’s arguments to professional wrestling – entertainment not based in reality. That was in response to Dynegy CEO Bob Flexon dismissing the ‘zero-emission credits’ sought by FirstEnergy to subsidize its two nuclear power plants in northern Ohio.”

— Tom Knox, Columbus Business First

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