OEC and Ohio Environmental Law Center hail AMP decision to halt dirty coal plant
Decision belies myth that dirty power is cheap power
In a statement, AMP revealed it will abandon its plans to build a 960 MW coal plant near Letart Falls in Meigs County. According to the statement, the company said the change in course was the result of an unexpected 37 percent increase in the cost to build the 1,000-megawatt plant, which was last estimated at $3.25 billion.
The Ohio Environmental Council is hailing the announcement today by American Municipal Power-Ohio (AMP-Ohio) that it has cancelled plans to construct a proposed 1,000-megawatt coal-fired power plant on the Ohio River in Meigs County.
Ever-growing costs doomed the plant, as cost projections grew from $2.5 billion just two years ago to close to $4 billion, today.
Statement by Trent Dougherty, OEC Staff Attorney and Director of Legal Affairs:
“AMP-Ohio’s wise decision belies the myth that coal power is cheap power. Financial institutions, major utilities, government regulators and public power organizations across the nation have come to the conclusion that conventional coal makes little sense economically or environmentally. Today, that realization came to American Municipal Power (AMP) as AMP has abandoned plans to build yet another coal plant.
“We are pleased that AMP-Ohio has concluded that dirty power is bad business. Now, AMP Ohio can get back to the business of doing what it does best — being a leader in renewable energy and energy efficiency in this state.
“For years, we and our allies have presented data to AMP executives, to utility and environmental regulators, and to dozens of city governments that would be stuck with the bill for this plant, projecting that this old-fashioned coal plant was burdened with unknown costs to consumers and unsubstantiated risks to our environment. Years ago, AMP-Ohio’s plant and rationale for building it may have made sense, but the regulatory landscape has fundamentally shifted.”
The OEC, along with its partners Natural Resources Defense Council and Sierra Club are in litigation over this plant, appealing air and water pollution permits issued last year by Ohio EPA. The coal plant was slated to burn at least 2.8 million tons of coal and each year release the following air pollution each year: up to 6,820 tons of sulfur dioxide, 3,194 tons of nitrogen oxide, 1,182 tons of particulate matter, 343 tons of sulfuric acid mist, 166.87 tons of volatile organic compounds, 880 pounds of lead, and 192 pounds of mercury.