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AEP and Cheshire Revisited

October 16, 2014

THE ATLANTIC DOES SOME STELLAR REPORTING TODAY in an article on what’s left of an Ohio town that American Electric Power bought 12 years ago in the wake of complaints about pollution from its two nearby coal-powered electricity plants.

The story, published on, revisits how AEP paid $20 million for the village of Cheshire in “a deal the company preferred over dealing with residents’ ongoing complaints about air pollution.”

Most residents left; a few remain, along with the 40-year-old Gen. James M. Gavin Power Plant, the largest coal plant in Ohio, and the Kyger Creek plant, built in the 1950s.

The hook for the story is some new litigation around the deal and an upcoming documentary called Cheshire, Ohio.

The article notes also that times have changed, however, and closes with some notes along those lines:

  • “Even AEP, the largest owner of coal-fired power stations in the country, has taken dramatic steps to shift away from coal.”
  • “Before the new EPA carbon regulations were announced, the company already had plans to retire nearly 6,600 megawatts the equivalent of about 13 midsize coal plants, over the next 10 years.”
  •  “As electricity from renewable energy sources and natural gas becomes more common, and the profit margins of coal deteriorate, utility executives like AEP’s CEO, Nick Akins, must deal with the transformation of a business that has operated in more or less the same fashion for a century.”

Here’s the full article.

— Karl Cates
[email protected]
Twitter @ieefa_institute 

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