As Coal and Oil become less competitive sources of energy it comes as no surprise that Big Coal is trying to prolong its survival by forcing Ohio utility consumers to subsidize aging coal plants with their own money. Utility companies American Electric Power (AEP), Duke Energy and FirstEnergy have proposed to raise electric rates to cover the cost of maintaining these obsolete coal-fired facilities that do nothing more than cause pollution.
This proposition comes on the heels of Gov. John Kasich’s bill that froze the expansion of renewable energy initiatives for at least two more years. This piece of legislation overrules the standards that first passed in 2008, that required Ohio’s utilities to find more energy efficient solutions for their customers and sell more wind and solar each year.
Luckily thousands of Ohio residents, the Sierra Club and 12 big business such as Staples, Costco and Macy’s have publically opposed Big Coal’s proposition to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. In fact, an August public poll found that 56 percent of Ohians believed that their State should focus on investing in renewable energy sources. The Sierra Club has launched its “No Coal Bailouts” campaign and is running ads to raise consumer awareness and hopefully enough outrage to prevent everyday people from being burdened with higher utility costs for the sake of utility companies.