Ohio Republican Gov. John Kasich is being urged to intervene to stop an electricity rate increase in the rural eastern part of the state that could result in the loss of 1,000 jobs.
According to the Columbus Dispatch
, the Ormet Corp., which owns an aluminum smelter plant in Monroe County, has sent Kasich a 156 page petition with 2,566 signatures asking for his help in heading of what the company says is a $20 million rate increase from American Electric Power.
“Ormet is by far the largest employer and tax contributor in rural Monroe County. To lose these jobs would be devastating,” the petition says, implying the increased electric costs would likely put the plant out of business.
In addition to Kasich, the petition was sent to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, which approved the rate increase, and JobsOhio, which has been working with the plant to deal with economic challenges.
Kasich spokesman Rob Nichols acknowledged that “Ormet is an important employer in southeast Ohio, and the governor hopes they can be successful." But he offered no indication of whether the governor would intervene personally.
"It’s no secret that the company faces tough challenges, which is why JobsOhio is working aggressively with Ormet to help it find a path forward," Nichols said in an email statement, according to the Dispatch.
The newspaper reported that Ormet has already been provided discounted rates in the past because of it is one of areas largest employers. But the newspaper noted that with global aluminum market down, the company is more vulnerable to any increase in operating costs.
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