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Manufacturers oppose proposed coal plant bailouts
State regulators are weighing plans to subsidize aging coal and nuclear plants through rate hikes for consumers and companies

Andy Chow
Keeping the unprofitable coal-fired Sammis plant operating is part of the rate plan proposed by FirstEnergy. Some say the price of keeping it open is too high.
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The state’s energy regulators are reviewing a plan that would guarantee income for two utilities that have coal plants, and it would come from increases on monthly electric bills. Now Ohio’s manufacturers are taking a stand against the proposal. Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports.

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Manufacturing accounts for more than 670,000 jobs in Ohio. 

But the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association warns that the proposals by AEP and FirstEnergy to raise electric bills to pay for coal plants could put a major burden on companies. 

Brad Belden with OMA’s energy policy group says, over the course of eight years, small manufacturers could be spending $37,000 more on their electric bills and large companies could see an increase of $37 million.

Belden says,“This is an uncompetitive business model that we’ve gotten ourselves in and we disagree that we should have to shoulder these costs.” 

The utilities tout their plans as ways to ensure reliability on the power grid to avoid outages. 

But opponents call them coal plant bailouts. 

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