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Free Market Group Supports Federal Block On Utilities' Plans


It’s not every day that a group known for defending the free market celebrates federal intervention. But a conservative group in Ohio is saying the feds made the right choice by blocking a temporary rate hike plan from AEP and FirstEnergy. 

The conservative-leaning think tank the Buckeye Institute is happy that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission put a stop to what they call ratepayer subsidies for AEP and FirstEnergy.

The utilities were going to use the money to pay for their coal plants that aren’t doing well in the wholesale market.

But the Buckeye Institute’s Joe Nichols says these companies know that if they want to be deregulated then they’re committed to the market which means there’s risk involved.

“What Ohio is trying to do is say just put that risk from the company to ratepayers and FERC is saying that’s not how things work we’re not going to stand for that,” said Nichols.

FirstEnergy and AEP are now expected to push for re-regulation.

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