Submitted by Jeff Buster on Mon, 02/25/2008 - 14:30.
Dear Cleveland City Council Members:
This is an urgent plea to exercise your right to cancel the 50 YEAR obligation by Cleveland Public Power to purchase 100MW of electricity from American Municipal Power’s proposed $3.4 billion power plant in Meigs County, OH.
The low-income residents for whom you are being told this ‘cheap coal’ is meant to serve, will, in the end, be subject to untold environmental risks and liabilities; stunning, on-going billion dollar construction price increases; and 50 YEARS of out-dated and discredited pulverized coal technology. As costs go up, mass customer erosion in CPP’s membership base is assured as CPP’s financial stability plummets.
What Wall Street investment banks have done recently to downgrade coal stocks for private, commercial utilities will remain unchallenged for non-profit, municipal utilities. In public utilities, the taxpayers, god bless them, will always be there to foot the bill. Whether this under-regulated, highly litigated, $3.4 billion plant is even ever built, the ‘take or pay’ contracts imposed on the participating municipalities by AMP-OH represent an unacceptable risk for the people of Cleveland and could well impoverish an already at risk population.
It will be far cheaper to cancel and pull out of this contract NOW, then to follow through with what Council’s own ION Consulting firm has referred to as the ‘riskiest time in history’ to invest in coal. ION emphasizes that ‘coal development is contrary to prevailing strategies’ and that the city of Cleveland should engage in ‘greater discussion of evaluation criteria and a review of alternatives’. They point out that 60 coal plants were cancelled in 2007 alone and that a huge proportion of those that remain in development ‘will likely be cancelled’.
The long-term strategic vulnerability of this project represents too great a threat to the financial stability of the city. The AMP-OH contract must be rejected. The blight on this city’s solvency, its self-image, its neighborhoods, and its way of life hangs in the balance. Perpetuating an image of desperation and turning a blind eye to 7.3 million tons of carbon being spewed into the atmosphere every year for 50 years is unacceptable and dispiriting. This is not progress. This is fatalism at its worse – leaving the people of Cleveland consigned to buying power from a primitive box spewing filth and sickness across this fair, troubled globe, while leaving scars of devastation and plunder in the lands and waters of our neighbors to the south.
Accepting the challenge, adopting an ambitious new business model, out-competing the competitor, and carrying the day with an out and out effort to distinguish CPP as a leader in the energy revolution will bring energy, jobs, and life back to Cleveland’s core.
If Google, Inc. can spend hundreds of millions of dollars to come up with a base load alternative to coal in the next ten years; if local fuel cell corporation, HydroGen, succeeds in building a plant here in Cleveland with 300 jobs, manufacturing 15 to 25MW fuel cell power plants; if  IBC Solar AG, Germany’s oldest solar vendor, fulfills its intention to build their US headquarters in Cleveland; and if Vestas Wind Systems A/S, the world’s largest wind company can be lured to this city, (they are shopping Ohio), we could show what can happen when you ‘energize’ one of the great cities in the nation – this wonderful green city on a blue lake.
Unique partnerships, special pioneering relationships, and a full-fledged commitment to go where the action is will build and sustain Cleveland Public Power’s service to its ever-expanding customer base. We can hold our heads high and our people will thrive.
Cancel the AMP-OH contract. Have hope. Power a clean, green energy revolution for Cleveland.
Thank you for your 11th hour consideration,
Peter R. Griesinger
Environmental Activist/Board Member of the Ohio Environmental Council

Gates Mills, OH

Where is the Wind Task Force on AMP Deal?

It seems this letter from Peter should be co-signed by Richards and Steubi of the Cleveland Foundation, Mason of the Wind Task Force, Nash of Sustainable Cleveland, Harlan of E4S, Beach of EcoCity, Greenberg of Environmental Health Watch, and scores of other area environment management players... is anyone keeping score of the local players and how they are approaching this conflict?

I am against Cleveland buying 50 years of coal.and I am for legal action to stop this insanity. Thanks to Peter, Jeff, Kevin and others who are sharing valuable perspectives on this issue in our community.

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Regional advanced energy strategy work group position?

In searching for any developments with Sustainable Cleveland, I came across a section on GCBL called "Regional advanced energy strategy work group"... described as such...

On May 12, 2006, the Cleveland Foundation and NorTech convened an initial meeting to develop a regional advanced energy strategy. In attendance were more than 50 energy experts from academia, government, economic development, corporate, and nonprofit sectors.

GCBL goes on to further explain the work of the group and list teams and members...
It should seem very simple to consult with them on this issue - poll each member and publish their votes and reasons... here are the members and the teams of OUR "Regional advanced energy strategy work group"... what has happened with this group since the first meeting in 2006, and what is the standing of each member on AMP?

The Goal-Setting Team will propose goals and metrics for the regional advanced energy strategy. Thus, it will confront the questions: What does it mean for our region to be sustainable in energy? And how will we measure success?Volunteers to be team members include:

  • Dale Arnold (Ohio Farm Bureau)
  • Dave Nash (McMahon Degulis and Sustainable Cleveland)
  • David Beach (EcoCity Cleveland and GreenCityBlueLake)
  • George Haritos (University of Akron)
  • Holly Harlan (Entrepreneurs for Sustainability)
  • Jeff Patterson (CMHA)
  • Jerry Barna (consultant for NASA/Glenn)
  • Joe Pustai (eQuest)
  • Kurt Waltzer (Ohio Environmental Council)
  • Rick Taylor (Parker Hannifin and Sustainable Cleveland)
  • Tom Zawodzinski (Case, Wright Fuel Cell Group)
  • Robert Kozar (University of Toledo)

The Benchmarking Team will identify other regions that have made good progress on advanced energy strategies and synthesize lessons learned (accounting for our region’s differences).

Team members include:

  • Gerry Barna, consultant 
  • Bill Manz, Ohio Department of Development, Office of Energy Efficiency
  • Joe Pustai, eQuest
  • Larry Viterna, NASA/Glenn

The Catalog Team will inventory and list names and contact information of companies and individuals involved in advanced energy, along with brief description.

Members include:

  • Bill Manz (ODOD/OEE)
  • Andrew Watterson (City of Cleveland)
  • Barry Rosenbaum (University of Akron)
  • Jeff Patterson (CMHA)
  • Joe Jasper (Cleveland State University)
  • Holly Harlan and Stephanie Strong (Entrepreneurs for Sustainability)

The Energy Audit Team will characterize flows and catalog asset/infrastructure base associated with current regional energy production and use.

Members include:

  • Haoran Hu (Eaton Corp.)
  • Holly Harlan (Entrepreneurs for Sustainability)
  • Lisa Hong (eQuest)

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