Kasich Urges PUCO to Be Careful In Deals to Keep Coal Plants Burning

Dec 30, 2015

Gov. John Kasich at the Westerville Area Resource Ministry recapping 2015 and discussing his stance on power purchase agreements.
Credit ANDY CHOW / OHIO PUBLIC RADIO

State officials could soon decide if some electric utility customers see a hike in their bills to keep coal plants running. Now Gov. John Kasich is offering his thoughts on the issue. Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports.

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio is looking over what’s known as power-purchase agreements 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.