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Governor Kasich Weighs In On What Critics Call 'Coal Plant Bailouts'

Governor Kasich (photo: Andy Chow/Statehouse News Bureau)
Governor Kasich (photo: Andy Chow/Statehouse News Bureau)

By Statehouse Correspondent Andy Chow

State officials could soon decide if some electric utility customers see a hike in their bills to keep coal plants running.

Now Governor John Kasich is offering his thoughts on the issue. 

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio is looking over what’s known as a Power Purchase Agreement proposed by AEP and FirstEnergy. These essentially guarantee a profit for their coal plants regardless of their value in the market.

While he does appoint the members, Kasich says he has no control over the PUCO - but says he wants them to make careful decisions.

"The only thing I ask when I appoint them is just, look at the facts and make a decision and I gotta tell you something I could care less about interest groups or who cares what. We have to do what’s in the long-term best interest of making sure that Ohio is a place where people can have certainty about power.”

Opponents call these proposals coal plant bailouts. But the utilities say they'll ensure energy reliability.