October 7, 2021 Read More →

Ohio utility regulators edited audit to support taxpayer coal bailout

Ohio Capital Journal:

Documents show state utility regulators sought edits to draft versions of an audit they commissioned, prompting the removal of declarations that a ratepayer-funded bailout of two uneconomic coal plants was a bad deal for Ohio electric customers.

Staff at the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, which sets customers’ water and electric rates, asked an auditor it hired to use a “milder tone and intensity” when describing bailouts of coal fired power plants funded by residential and industrial electricity users.

After reviewing a non-public draft of the audit, PUCO employee Mahila Christopher cited a few specific lines of concern in a September 2020 email to auditors, obtained via public records request. She specifically flagged language that states: “keeping the plants running does not seem to be in the best interests of the ratepayers.”

The sentence does not appear in the publicly released version of the audit.

[Jake Zuckerman]

More: Ohio regulators made ‘utility-friendly’ edits to audit of coal plant bailout, emails show

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