To pressure PUCO, specifically Chairman Snitchler, to approve the funding proposal by AEP regarding the Turning Point Project.
What you need to know:
1. AEP (American Electric Power) had plans to build a 50MW solar field on a 500 acre former strip mining site called the Turning Point Project. They would pay for it entirely by an "on bill charge" of about 20 cents per household per month for their customers. There were no requests for public (tax payer) funding. This is a publically held company in the private sector using their money with the support of their customers to make a sound business decision regarding diversification of product supply.
2. The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) had to approve the funding plan because the project is considered to be part of the utility company's "electric security plan".
3. The PUCO staff determined that the project was needed but was ignored by PUCO Chairman Todd Snitchler who refused the funding approval, effectively disabling the entire project.
4. Todd Snitchler was appointed to position by Gov. Kasich in March of 2011. He tweets regularly about his disbelief in global climate change and distaste for renewable energy. He is a big fan of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas.
5. This was an internally funded project by a company that was killed by one politically appointed government official.
6. A $32 million manufacturing plant was to be built to produce the solar panels. This would have created over 300 manufacturing jobs and 300 construction jobs.
Why you should care:
1. Gross government overreach in the private sector.
2. This creates a huge road block in our state for renewable energy projects.
3. General environmental and economic impact.
4. Aggressive tactics by government officials to benefit Big Gas which poisons our air, water and ground to extract fossil fuel.
5. This project would have created about 300 full time manufacturing jobs and 300 temporary construction jobs in an area of the state that desperately needs it.
6. We should all be working together to support sustainable energy sources. It is more than just saving the environment; it is about securing our future as energy consumers and defending Ohio businesses and workers.
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