July 30, 2019 – by John Blair, valleywatch.net editor
Clifty Creek, built in the middle 1950s may continue operating until 2040 after Ohio legislature gives them giant subsidy.
Madison, Indiana is a beautiful town. It even had a large production movie made about its community spirit last decade entitled “Madison.” And, its home to a wonderful State Park-Clifty Falls. Unfortunately, it succumbed to the lure of jobs in the 1950s and became home to the nefarious Clifty Creek power plant.
Clifty Creek and its “sister” plant in Ohio called Kyger Creek were built with a single purpose in mind-to supply electricity to the now shuttered Portsmouth, OH uranium enrichment plant that was closed shortly after the turn of the Century. But both continued to operate as a “merchant plants” since.
Madison’s riverfront is really cool, except when you try to watch a sunset which is always obscured by the massive plant whether it’s operating or not as it dominates every effort to look west.
Owned by a consortium of Indiana , Kentucky and Ohio utilities, including 44% by AEP, the plant has made major investments in pollution controls around fifteen years ago. (See data in picture above). As a result, numerous efforts by a group of environmentalists, including Valley Watch, CAC, Save the Valley and Hoosier Environmental Council have failed to secure retirement for the ancient plants.
Now, Ohio ratepayers are going to be further enslaved to pay for the uneconomic operation of both Clifty and Kyger Creek plants just to highly subsidize their utility owners, none of which consider those plants in their actual rate bases.
Ohio’s legislation also bailed out some failing nuclear plants owned by First Energy in what has become the worst “socialization of risk-privatization of profit” scheme devised for plants that are not only failing financially but also constitute heavily to disease in all health for those downwind.
Fortunately, a bill that would have prevented Indiana utilities from building new plants to replace aging coal plants failed in the Indiana legislature this year even after the coal industry hired disgraced former EPA Administrator, Scott Pruitt to lobby the bill.