Cleveland City Council and AMP-Ohio Hearing Friday Morning

Submitted by Kevin Cronin on Thu, 02/21/2008 - 20:57.

is timing really everything? Maybe to a utility company.

Cleveland City Council will hold a Friday hearing on its contract with utility giant AMP-Ohio to provide coal-generated electricity for Cleveland Public Power for decades. This large scale coal-fired plant, which is currently just a plan, would be built in Meigs County, along the Ohio River. To this point, there have been some hints that supporting coal energy, now, gets Cleveland the investors needed to build wind energy on Lake Erie. AMP-Ohio has invested in the Bowling green wind turbines, which have generated a strong return gfor the public.

The "coal to wind" transition is an attractive idea to think about, but the first question Cleveland needs to address is should we encourage the building of a plant to tie ourselves to coal over the long term in the first place? AMP suggests the plant construction is inevitable and some in Cleveland conclude that getting out of the AMP contract, at this point, won't achieve anything. However, the development of a coal-fired plant continues the reliance on environmentally damaging coal, unfairly priced in a way that disguises its true environmental cost, which pushes off pressure to develop alternatives, like the wind turbines on the lake. The abstract discussions have to stop so Cleveland can make a decision. Cleveland and AMP-Ohio need to be crystal clear regarding what investments and what timeline they are preparing to abide by to contribute to Cleveland's green energy future.

  • Why should Cleveland, or others in the state for that matter, tie themselves to coal for the next fifty years? Is another coal-fired plant in Meigs County really "inevitable"?

  • Does a new coal-fired utility guarantee a "gentle" glide in transition to alternative energy for utility companies?

  • Given the current state of the world, can we afford a "gentle glide"?

  • Does AMP-Ohio intend to invest millions to create a wind energy future for Northeast Ohio?

There are a lot of questions, but now is the time for Cleveland and AMP-Ohio to be clear regarding what they propose and let Cleveland make a decision.

Official Notice:

Hearing:Cleveland City Council, Public utilities Committee (Matt Zone, Chair)

Friday, February 22, 2008; 9:30 AM

City Hall 601 Lakeside Avenue, room 217

The Public Utilities Committee will have a final hearing regarding the American Municipal Power of Ohio (AMP-Ohio) proposed new AMPGS projects as authorized by Ordinance No. 1653-07. There will be a special presentation provided by Cleveland City Council’s independent consultant ION Consulting, who was engaged to assess all information provided by AMP-Ohio, Cleveland Public Power (CPP) and other stakeholders regarding AMPGS project. In addition, further testimony will be received by AMP-Ohio, CPP and other interested parties.

MOST IMPORTANT DECISION IN 50 YEARS

Kevin, thanks for this important notice.  
I believe the decision to back out of the Amp contract is the most important decision the City Council has faced in decades. 

Has the City already been trapped?

Time for the City to stop compromising

Supporting coal energy now (and for 50 years) in the hopes of getting wind energy later!? Sounds like a rediculous and pathetic compromise to me, but something I can see Ohio doing. This is a decision that could affect our children's entire lives. Let's hope the City does the right thing and tells AMP we are done with coal. The next generations deserve better.

I was happy to hear that Ohio won't be getting a large steel recycling plant because of issues related to their energy demands. We have too many greener opportunies here to waste time with industries that damage our environment and make us sick.

9:30am to 6:40pm Cleveland discussed Coal - well

I, and many others, attended this crucial meeting.   It lasted all day.  It was civil. Sincere. Powerful.

One of the best public meetings I have ever attended.  This is my golf game. 

More reported soon. ...