Click here to submit public comments to Ohio EPA by November 19.
1.) Insist algae toxin standards be created for Ohio drinking water supplies
2.) Request mandatory testing to occur at community water systems
In June 2014, Governor Kasich signed into law a bill that guts Ohio’s clean energy and efficiency standards. Passing this new law was not enough for Ohio’s utilities, though.
Now, Ohio’s largest electric utilities, AEP, Duke, and FirstEnergy are seeking to keep a number of Ohio’s oldest and dirtiest power plants open for years to come.
And they want you and me to pay for it.
Coal provides nearly 90% of Ohio’s electricity and about half of our global warming pollution. From the mine to the plant, coal is a dirty energy source. It causes asthma and other health problems, destroys mountains, and releases toxic mercury into our communities and waterways. Continuing our dependence on coal chains us to dirty energy and prevents us from making the changes we need to bring about a clean, secure energy future. Visit the Coal Committee page to learn more and join our efforts.
Visit us at http://content.sierraclub.org/coal/ohio
Opponents of Ohio utilities’ sweeping requests for coal and nuclear plant bailouts speak out against rate increases outside of Public Utilities Commission of Ohio in Columbus.
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Residents across the state bused into Columbus this morning for a spirited citizens hearing outside the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) as the highly criticized AEP and FirstEnergy coal bailout cases are set for a decision in the coming months. The rally took place against a backdrop of bold new ads that have blanketed downtown kiosks in waves for nearly a year, with the latest round featuring crayoned drawings from Ohio schoolchildren opposing the bailouts. The pending cases seek to raise customers’ bills to pay for Ohio utilities’ old, polluting and increasingly uneconomic coal and nuclear plants — what has prompted high-profile public hearings across the state where FirstEnergy’s plan was pummeled, with the PUCO denying a similar bailout case by Duke Energy, as well as a previous filing by AEP. Read More
February 25th, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 25, 2015
Sierra Club Responds to PUCO Vote on Bailout for AEP’s Coal Plants
PUCO shuts down AEP’s request to increase customers’ bills to pay for aging coal plants
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Today, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) stood up for Ohio electric customers by denying a bailout request by American Electric Power (AEP), the Columbus-based utility that was seeking to pass increasing coal plant electricity costs to customers’ bills. The measure would have guaranteed AEP a revenue stream for its aging coal plants for decades, forcing other electricity generators to compete in an unfair market that benefits AEP and makes customers’ electric bills higher than they should be.
AEP’s coal plant bailout is among a series of other high-profile cases, including Akron-based FirstEnergy’s bailout request, pending at the PUCO that have drawn extreme criticism from residential and business electricity consumers alike. In October, a group of 12 Ohio businesses, including Lowe’s Home Improvement, Staples Inc., and Macy’s Inc., sent a letter urging the PUCO to reject the bailouts proposal. The businesses cited a new poll by Public Policy Partners showing a strong percentage of Ohio electricity customers favor clean, renewable energy sources to power the state — and do not support paying more to keep aging coal plants in operation.
More recently, Dynegy (NYSE:DYN), a electric generation company that is in the process of finalizing a multi-billion dollar expansion into Ohio, has “vehemently” disagreed with and opposed AEP’s bailout request.
Meanwhile, public hearings in FirstEnergy’s similar bailout case occurred in mid-January in Cleveland, Akron and Toledo drawing hundreds of opponents and hours of testimony with the Cleveland Plain Dealer reporting FirstEnergy’s request was “pummeled” by the public.
In response to the PUCO bailout decision, Daniel Sawmiller of the Sierra Club Beyond Coal Campaign, released this statement:
“We disagree with the PUCO that these bailouts are a legal proposal in accordance with Ohio law. The PUCO was right however to not allow AEP to prop up its outdated coal plants by forcing those costs on to electricity customers at this time, protecting customers from the substantial costs of these harmful bailout requests. These aging coal plants are not competitive with today’s market prices for electricity and this corporate bailout, if ultimately allowed, would hurt Ohio’s working families.
“While today’s Order is generally positive, the Sierra Club will not waiver in its opposition to these bailouts. With more bailout cases still pending, like for FirstEnergy’s expensive and dirty Sammis coal plant, we encourage the PUCO to continue to scrutinize the utilities’ sweeping requests to increase customers’ bills and eliminate customer choices.”
To learn more about the “No Coal Bailouts” campaign, visit sc.org/nobailouts.
February 5th, 2015
We hope you were able to join the 150 Sierra Club members who gathered for our annual Chapter Retreat at Mohican State Park. As one of the largest and most influential environmental organizations in the state, we celebrated our victories, renewed our spirits, and made our plans for the year ahead. Check out the Retreat Presentations and take the survey!!!
December 23rd, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio — As opposition grows against the sweeping coal plant bailout cases before the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO), Sierra Club is blanketing the state again with new ads slamming state utilities for trying to prop up their outdated plants by increasing electricity costs on customers’ bills. Statewide radio ads, direct mail pieces, online ads and animated web gifs accompany a new suite of aggressive curbside kiosk ads in downtown Columbus. This new round of advertising will continue to hit the state throughout the holiday season. Read More
December 4th, 2014
On Wednesday, December 17th, Columbus-based American Electric Power (AEP) will be having a requested public hearing in front of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio to present additional oral arguments in support of its plan to effectively bailout two of its dirty, aging coal plants. Since August, the dirty energy giant has been awaiting a ruling from PUCO for its plan to be approved. AEP will need an estimated $117 million, which it would acquire at the expense of its customers by increasing monthly utility bills. If approved, PUCO would be going against the recommendations of its own staff, whose job it is to ensure that the competition between utility companies is fair and that consumers are not being ripped off.
Since early August, Sierra Club has been posting ads both online and around the city of Columbus in an attempt to oppose the coal bailout and save consumers money. Now, with public opinion swayed strongly in opposition of AEP’s plan, the company is trying one last ditch effort to argue in favor of its case and to sweet talk PUCO into giving it the green-light. The hearing on the 17th will be open to the public, and with strong support from grassroots environmental groups and ordinary citizens alike, AEP’s dirty energy bailout can be crushed for good. Please join Sierra Club in opposing AEP at this hearing, and show the company that the people of Ohio will not stand for higher taxes to pay for more pollution.