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Ohio Regulators Approve Coal-Plant Bailouts; Legal Challenges Loom

March 31, 2016

Tom Knox for Columbus Business First:

Ohio energy regulators have approved proposals by AEP and FirstEnergy to guarantee income for certain power plants, accepting their arguments that the seven coal plants and one nuclear plant should be subsidized by ratepayers because the benefits outweigh the potential costs.
Parts of AEP’s Conesville coal-fired power plant in Coshocton County are included in the income-guarantee proposal.

The decision means ratepayers will be on the hook for any costs related to keeping the plants open, although regulators said they modified the proposals to stabilize rates and limit the impact on customers.

The landmark decision by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio caps more than a year of fiery criticism from other power producers, business groups and environmental organizations that derided the plans as corporate bailouts. Legal challenges are expected on multiple fronts.

Full article: Ohio regulators approve income guarantees for AEP and FirstEnergy

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