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Ohio Legislators Discussing Saving a Cold War-Era Coal Plant

photo of smoke stacks

Coal plants are struggling to make a profit in Ohio. And there have been proposals from regulators and lawmakers that would help prop up those plants by passing additional costs on to customers. However, legislators say their latest plan would help a struggling plant that was created under unusual circumstances that go back 60 years.

Customers could see additional fees on their electric bills to help prop up the struggling Ohio Valley Electric Corporation, a coal plant commonly known as OVEC.

OVEC was created by a conglomeration of utilities in the 1950’s to meet electric needs during the Cold War. Republican Senator Bob Peterson says OVEC needs the ability to recover costs through added fees because of those utilities are still tied together.

“No other facility in the country is required to stay together. Because of the restrictions they’re basically unable to sell their interests in the facility.”

But opponents say customers shouldn’t carry the burden of propping up OVEC. The Sierra Club says AEP, FirstEnergy, Duke Energy and Dayton Power and Light all reached the current agreement well after the Cold War ended.

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.