After objections from Ohio’s consumer advocate agency about a failure to provide required public notice, regulators have scheduled a fifth public hearing in American Electric Power’s pending rate case for February 12.
Ohio’s net-metering rules appear destined for the state’s Supreme Court as utilities and their opponents dig in against each other over proposed changes.
The company disclosed the error in a Dec. 28 filing. It’s unlikely to sink the rate case, but it adds an element of uncertainty just as it nears the finish line.
While the state is still a major polluter, Ohio’s shift away from coal has led to a significant reduction in carbon emissions.
The environmental justice chair for the Cleveland NAACP said the group’s recent comments in support of coal and nuclear power don’t reflect its positions “moving forward.”
The Cleveland chapter caught activists off guard in October when it filed comments in support of a federal proposal to prop up uneconomic coal and nuclear plants in the name of grid reliability. “In order to mitigate the risk that such generating units may be deactivated prematurely, the Cleveland NAACP strongly urges FERC to adopt the rule proposed by DOE,” its Oct. 20 comments said, citing the jobs and economic opportunities provided by the power plants. The comments, submitted by the group’s economic development committee chair Danielle Sydnor, appear to contradict the national organization’s position against coal-fired power plants and other fossil fuel operations, which have a disproportionate impact on communities of color. Sydnor and branch President James Hardiman did not respond to interview requests. The group’s environmental justice chair, Kent Whitley, said he was not involved in preparing the comments, and that they don’t reflect his priorities.
Survey results released last week showed a majority of Ohio registered voters — Republicans and Democrats — support regulating carbon dioxide as a pollutant. A new batch of data from the same source shows the same is true for the country as a whole.
This week, the Supreme Court of Ohio heard arguments in a case that could overturn a regulatory decision that advocates say broke the law and cost ratepayers millions.
A majority of both Republicans and Democrats throughout Ohio favor clean energy policies, such as regulating carbon dioxide emissions as a pollutant and more government funding for renewable energy, according to a new interactive map.
A pro-coal group that has appeared in multiple Ohio wind farm cases has not disclosed its members, raising questions about who funds the nonprofit organization and what relationship it might have to other parties.
Advocates for industry, consumer and environmental groups expressed strong support for a bill to reform state utility law at a hearing before the Ohio House Public Utilities Committee this week. House Bill 247 would end the current practice of Electric Security Plans, which allow a variety of nonbypassable charges, regardless of whom customers choose to buy electricity from. The bill would also prohibit utilities from owning electric generation facilities. And it would require refunds if utility charges were later found to have been unlawful or unreasonable. “With more Boomers headed to retirement, and on a fixed income, we must keep utility bills in check,” AARP Ohio’s Trey Addison told lawmakers on November 28.