A Conservative Think Tank Applauds the Federal Decision on Ohio Utility Subsidies

Apr 29, 2016

Credit WIKIMEDIA

It’s not every day that a group known for defending the free market celebrates federal intervention. But a conservative group in Ohio is saying the feds made the right choice by blocking a temporary rate hike plan from AEP and FirstEnergy.  

The conservative think tank the Buckeye Institute is happy that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission put a stop to what they call rate-payer subsidies for AEP and FirstEnergy.

The utilities were going to use the money to pay for coal and nuclear plants that aren’t doing well in the wholesale market.

The Buckeye Institute’s Joe Nichols says companies know that if they want to be deregulated then they’re committing to the market, which means there’s risk involved.

“What Ohio is trying to do is say, 'Just put that risk from the company to ratepayers.' And FERC is saying, 'That’s not how things work;we’re not going to stand for that.'”

FirstEnergy and AEP are now expected to push the state for re-regulation.