Submitted by Jeff Buster on Fri, 02/08/2008 - 13:14.


A hundred showed for the MidTownBrews session held yesterday evening at gracious host Insivia  on Superior in Cleveland, Ohio for a public discussion (moderated by Gloria Ferris, George Nemeth, and Betsey Merkel) concerning the pending City of Cleveland, Ohio City Counsel’s upcoming decision to withdraw from the 50 year power supply contract with AMP OHIO which Counsel entered into two months ago.




In my book, of the 6 or 7 persons on the panel, the person who spoke the straightest was Elisa Young, Founder, Meigs CAN (Citizen Action Now).   She was provided gas money for driving the 300 miles up from Meigs County to tell us Clevelanders what it was like living on a farm next to a half dozen coal fired electrical generators. 




So while Matt Zone and Brian Cummins and Richard Stuebi discussed the keen complexities and difficult “balancing act” which the Cleveland City Counsel must grapple with in deciding whether or not to buy into 50 more years of coal fired electrical generation in Meigs County in Southern Ohio one question kept pounding in my head:




Is it MORAL to produce poisonous power in someone else’s back yard while the persons enjoying the power live hundreds of miles away? 




Mr. Zone and Mr. Stuebi had left the discussion after the first hour,  so they weren’t there when I asked for anyone in the audience that thought it was MORALLY acceptable to poison someone else’s neighborhood with  coal power plants which supplied the power to Cleveland to RAISE THEIR HAND. 




Now, I’m not usually that persuasive a person, but I’ve got to tell you,  NO ONE RAISED THEIR HAND. 




So I said, “Cleveland should build the power plant right here in Cleveland.”  




What’s wrong with that idea? 

The City was only subscribing to 80 megawatts of the Meigs proposed 960 megawatts.  Why can’t  Cleveland renovate one of the old CPP lake front generators with modern generating equipment and produce the power in our own back yard? 




If Cleveland produced the power here, the wheeling charge to move the power over the high tension lines from Southern Ohio to Cleveland would be avoided.  This wheeling charge generally constitutes 25 to 35% of the cost of the energy.  CPP would thus have - up front - a 25 to 25% advantage competitively over CEI and AEP.




You will probably hear two reasons why building a generator in Cleveland isn’t going to work. 

  1. The air is already so polluted in Cleveland that the EPA wouldn’t issue a permit for a new power plant. 

   ANSWER:   Then Cleveland, and Cleveland taxpayers and electrical rate payers are being screwed by the existing polluters.  If the existing polluters – Mital, Cleveland Geothermal, University Hospitals – are, in effect, using up all of the region’s base line EPA latitude and thus leaving no “pollution room” for  the City of Cleveland , that means that the CITIZENS of CLEVELAND are having to buy their electricity from outside of Cleveland AT A HIGHER COST.  


This means that everyone in NEO is paying dearly to support the polluters in NEO.  And that’s crazy.  We need to sue the polluters and recover the added cost of  wheeling power from outside Cleveland



  1. Cleveland isn’t as close to the source of coal as Meigs.



ANSWER: Sure the coal has to travel by train a little further, but Cleveland could hedge that with lake boat delivery and the increase in transport costs would be far offset by the fact that the power would be put directly into the CPP grid without wheeling charges.






If Cleveland is so hot to develop new jobs, new advanced energy technologies, etc etc. – and  CPP only needs another 80 megawatts of base load – why don’t we take up the challenge of building that small advanced design  minimally polluting coal fired plant right here inside the City limits – AND SHOW THE WORLD WHO WE ARE!




Or, the City Counsel can stick it to Elisa and allow the the local polluters to continue to drive Cleveland's economy into the ditch.






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It's not going to be an easy decision for any one Jeff.  But, it is time we stop leaving problems for the next generation and face the harsh aftermath of our complacency.

Whose children do we poison next?

Electric Power

I'm a lay person, but everything you say makes sense. I keep thinking about how much our population has shrunk and that we have neighborhoods that need help; how about we consolidate people in one neighborhood and put these things in the other one? Can we really do this?  I had NO idea we were getting power from so far away!