Fighting to Keep Coal Plants Open

Local 175 and National Pressure DP&L to sell, not close, base load power

Local 175 and the National Union are fighting to keep two coal-fired power plants open in southern Ohio’s Adams County. Owned by Dayton Power & Light, the Stuart Station and Killen Station plants provide 3000MW of coal fired generation and employ 353 UWUA members. Both facilities meet all environmental emission standards and have no compliance issues. Management says low natural gas prices are driving their decision.

Mobilize to fight

When DP&L announced plans to close the plants, Local 175 President Greg Adams and his Executive Board immediately took action to inform the membership and mobilize to fight the threatened closings. As an intervener in a DP&L rate case, the local has so far won a small, but significant victory, successfully arguing against the company’s plans to include plant closure language in its settlement with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.

To press the case for keeping the plants open, Local 175 officers, National VP John Duffy, national staff and Adams County supporters recently met with Ohio Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman, as well as the Chief of Staff for Congressman Brad Wenstrup (OH CD2). They asked them to find out from the company why they are choosing to close their two plants and walk away from them, rather than seeking a buyer.

Investors Interested

The UWUA and its supporters are talking with interested investors, and the lobby group asked the elected officials to help facilitate a meeting between the investors and the company which, up until now, has rebuffed their advances. All of the electeds replied favorably, pledging assistance in gathering information and helping to make connections and introductions in the hopes of keeping the plants open.

The local and the National continue to work closely with the Ohio AFL-CIO to gain support for the continued operation of the plants.

The struggle continues

“We know there are parties interested in purchasing the two plants, and we are not going to give up the fight to keep them open,” Adams states. “The company should put these plants on the market and not just close the doors and walk away. These power plants are the largest employer in Adams County. The local schools, towns and businesses rely on these plants for survival.”