coal

photo of smoke stacks
JAMES KELLEY / SHUTTERSTOCK

Murray Energy, one of the nation's largest producers of coal, has filed for bankruptcy. The Ohio-based coal mining company also announced that its high-profile CEO, Bob Murray, will be replaced.

Murray Energy, based in St. Clairsville, has filed for Chapter 11 in bankruptcy court and is looking to restructure under a different name, Murray NewCo. Under that new entity, Bob Murray will no longer be CEO or president but he will continue to hold the title of board chairman.

Medications
TIM RUDELL / WKSU

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, Oct. 2:

a photo of the Ohio House of Representatives
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The Ohio House has voted in favor of the sweeping energy bill, HB6, that bails out two nuclear power plants through $150 million in ratepayer subsidies.


photo of jail cell
CREATIVE COMMONS/FLICKR

Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, August 30:

photo of coal
PATTY CHAN / SHUTTERSTOCK

After years in limbo, a plan to construct a new coal plant has been scrapped. That leaves Ohio without any proposals for new coal-power generation. Environmental groups see this as a critical turning point.

Since the early 2000s, the Lima energy plant has been on again and off again. But now the company behind the project is officially bowing out.

Neil Waggoner with the Beyond Coal campaign says it’s clear coal is near its end.

photo of Sammis plant
FIRSTENERGY

The head of one of the nation’s biggest coal companies says he can keep First Energy Solutions' coal-fired power plants from shutting down.

Murray Energy CEO Robert Murray tells Bloomberg news that if government subsidies are granted he can get financing to buy the coal plants targeted for closing.  And with his company providing the coal, he says he can keep them running. 

Nuclear Power plants
Twitter

Consumer, business and environmental groups are rallying to oppose FirstEnergy’s request for a federal bailout now that the company’s subsidiary FirstEnergy Solutions has filed for bankruptcy. This could be the utility’s last shot at keeping its nuclear and coal plants open.

Major New Investors Shore Up FirstEnergy

Jan 22, 2018
First Energy Bulding
Tim Rudell / WKSU

EDITOR'S NOTE: The name of FirstEnergy's spokeswoman was misspelled in this story and has been corrected. 

FirstEnergy just got a $2.5 billion financial boost in its struggle to transition back to a fully regulated utility. Three large investment firms are buying about a 16 percent equity stake in the Akron-based energy company. 

Photo of solar panels
SERGEY EDENTOD / SHUTTERSTOCK

Clean-energy issues have prompted a lot of debate at the Ohio Statehouse for years. Opposition has mostly come from Republicans, while Democrats have supported incentives for the industry. Now, a clean-energy group has new data that they say will change the discussion.      

The Ohio Conservative Energy Forum is pointing to a poll that shows conservative voters are 36 percent more likely to vote for someone who supports energy efficiency and increases the use of renewables.

form U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich stands at a podium
Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, Jan. 9:

photo of smoke stacks
JAMES KELLEY / SHUTTERSTOCK

The U.S. EPA is trying to roll back one of the most sweeping regulations of carbon emissions. As Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports, opponents and supporters say this will have a big impact on Ohio.

 

  

It was one of Donald Trump’s biggest campaign rally cries when he was running for president -- ending what he called the “war on coal.” Now, his EPA director Scott Pruitt says that’s exactly what the administration is doing by rolling back the Clean Power Plan. 

Coal-fired, Sammis Power Plant
NYttend / Wikipedia

The Ohio EPA is welcoming word that U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt wants to repeal the national power plant emissions regulations written during the Obama Administration.

 

The Clean Power Plan never actually took effect because 28 states went to court to block it, arguing that it unfairly and illegally targeted coal-fired energy production. Ohio was among them as state EPA spokeswoman Heidi Griesmer explains.

photo of smoke stacks
JAMES KELLEY / SHUTTERSTOCK

Coal plants are struggling to make a profit in Ohio. And there have been proposals from regulators and lawmakers that would help prop up those plants by passing additional costs on to customers. However, legislators say their latest plan would help a struggling plant that was created under unusual circumstances that go back 60 years.

Customers could see additional fees on their electric bills to help prop up the struggling Ohio Valley Electric Corporation, a coal plant commonly known as OVEC.

photo of FirstEnergy building
TIM RUDELL / WKSU

One of Ohio’s largest energy companies could be closing or selling all of its power plants within the next two years.

FirstEnergy, given the current economic and regulatory climate, is reviewing what to do with its coal and nuclear plants. It says it has three options: sell the plants, close them or keep them under the condition that the state changes its regulatory framework.

Photo of a FirstEnergy coal power plant
FIRST ENERGY / WIKIPEDIA

NOTE: This is the third of three stories examining Ohio's environmental and energy future.  

Ohio’s largest energy companies are trying to figure out what they’re going to do with their coal power plants as they navigate through a vital time in the utilities industry. Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow explores the different paths those utilities can take and what that means for Ohio residents.

photo of Sammis plant
FIRSTENERGY

Ohioans could see a new charge on their electric bills as early as June, now that state regulators have approved plans by FirstEnergy and AEP to guarantee income for struggling coal plants. But opponents of the costs say the fight isn’t over. 

Photo of a FirstEnergy coal power plant
FIRST ENERGY / WIKIPEDIA

A vote is set for tomorrow on plans from FirstEnergy and AEP that is estimated to hike customers’ electricity bills by nearly $6 billion over eight years and to generate guaranteed income for struggling coal plants.  

Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis logo
Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis

 A new study is providing more ammunition for opponents against the so-called coal plant bailout proposed by two electric utilities. 

The report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis , or IEEFA, says FirstEnergy’s plan to guarantee a profit for their struggling coal plants would cost consumers $4 billion.

Timmons
ANDY CHOW / OHIO PUBLIC RADIO

Advocates for clean energy usually lean on the environmental benefits of the technology, but one group says their effort is more personal.

 

For Michele Timmons, her fight for cleaner air and cleaner water is a family matter.

photo of Bill Ridmann
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Hearings have ended and now it’s up to state regulators to decide if the so-called coal plant bailout for two electric utilities should be approved. Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports.

FirstEnergy and AEP say adding a charge to customers’ monthly bills in order to guarantee income for struggling coal plants will stabilize costs and ensure grid stability. Opponents say this is an unnecessary bailout that helps ineffective and dirty coal plants.

photo of Bill Allen
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

  The state’s utility regulators are looking over a plan that would guarantee a profit for two utilities that operate coal plants by raising the price on electric bills and want to hear why certain groups are ok with it. Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports.

AEP’s latest draft would keep three coal units afloat for eight years and then guarantee their closure by 2030.

FirstEnergy protest
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

About 20 protestors showed up at FirstEnergy headquarters in Akron today to send a holiday message to CEO Charles Jones. WKSU's Kabir Bhatia reports.

FirstEnergy is asking the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio for a new rate plan that would subsidize its Sammis coal plant near Steubenville and the Davis-Besse nuclear plant.

But the protestors gathered by the Ohio Organizing Collaborative say that’s a bad deal for consumers. They made the point by bringing FirstEnergy CEO Charles Jones a stocking filled not with coal, but with LED bulbs.

ALLY MAROTTI / WOSU

An environmental group and a major utility have reached an agreement that could change the future landscape of energy generation for that company. But as Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports, others aren’t so sure about that.

Davis Besse
TIM RUDELL / WKSU

More hearings have been scheduled by the Public Utilities Commission on FirstEnergy's proposed rate plan, a plan that's drawn criticism from environmentalists, clergy and some business groups. WKSU's Kabir Bhatia reports.

Akron-based FirstEnergy wants an eight-year agreement that forces its subsidiaries to buy all the power produced by its Sammis coal plant near Steubenville and the Davis-Besse nuclear plant. The Public Utilities Commission has another round of hearings scheduled to start Jan. 14, a year after it began considering the plan.