ASHTABULA, OH -U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today convened a meeting with the Ashtabula County Port Authority, local business leaders, elected officials and other stakeholders to explore strategies to ensure the future viability of the former First Energy C Plant, known as "Plant C." Plant C serves the critical water needs of Ashtabula's industrial community, and helps sustain more than 1,000 jobs. Without intervention, the outdated piping and pumping system will continue to degrade and risk significant economic consequences and job loss.
"Many Ashtabula companies rely on Plant C as a resource for raw water, but the pumping infrastructure has fallen into disrepair, which puts these businesses at risk," said Brown. "Ensuring the viability of Plant C is not only important for the current businesses that rely on it for water, but for future development in the area. Investments in Plant C now will pay future dividends in new jobs and economic growth for Ashtabula County."
At the meeting, attendees discussed resources available to preserve operations at Plant C in the hopes of retaining low-cost raw water for more than a half-dozen companies. Additionally, a dependable source of raw water is necessary for future development in the Ashtabula area. Also in attendance at the meeting were representatives from Johnson Controls, who are in negotiations with the Port Authority to convert the coal-burning FirstEnergy plant to run on biomass and create clean energy. With investments at the federal level, the Plant C project would create jobs and spur economic revitalization for Ashtabula County.
Brown's visit to Ashtabula is part of his "Made in Ohio Tour," which kicked off several weeks ago. With the top priority of creating Ohio jobs, Brown is fighting for a multi-pronged effort to promote economic development - from working to position Ohio as the Silicon Valley of Clean Energy Manufacturing, to establishing the state as a hub for high-growth industries.
The key components of Brown's jobs strategy are:
- Promoting the expansion of Ohio businesses by strengthening small business lending programs and aiding President Obama's goal to significantly boost U.S. exports.
- Transitioning away from our dependence on foreign oil to a clean energy future in which jobs are centered in the small businesses, manufacturing facilities, and universities of Ohio.
- Developing Ohio's workforce so that Ohioans are prepared to fill the jobs of the 21st century and revitalizing the state's infrastructure to attract those global industries.
- Making sure that Ohio industry isn't undermined due to unfair trade by pursuing remedies to counteract China's currency manipulation and subsidization of domestic industries.