Pat O'Loughlin

Our electric power system has been built up over decades ... it works on the principles of science and engineering, not wishes and dreams.

Separating fact from fiction

Your electric cooperative’s mission to provide members’ homes and businesses with reliable, affordable, environmentally responsible electricity has faced its share of obstacles through the decades. In the past several months, I have warned of threats to our electric system’s reliability from overly ambitious environmental regulations. 

As summer approaches this year, we can no longer take 24/7 availability of electricity for granted.

Time for a change

After working in the electric utility business for nearly 40 years, I still marvel at the working of our interconnected electric power network that we commonly refer to as “the grid.” It has taken equal parts of engineering, ingenuity, and hard work to design, build, and sustain a network that makes electricity available every hour of every day, no matter how hot or how cold the weather outside may be.

Lineworkers in bucket truck

It's about the people

Electric cooperatives make substantial investments in the communities we serve, from the power plants that send power across the grid to your local co-op to the poles, wires, transformers, and meters that generally blend into the local landscape. These are all expensive and long-lived physical assets necessary to make your lights come on day in and day out. 

Each electric cooperative is unique, reflecting the communities it serves, the people it employs, and the history of decisions that have come before.

Your electric cooperative: Working for you

Electric cooperatives are not-for-profit organizations controlled by local people who are members of the cooperative, elected by the membership to represent the interests of their fellow members. Those interests generally align along the themes of safety, reliability, value, and service. 

While each electric cooperative is unique, reflecting the communities it serves, the people it employs, and the history of decisions that have come before, each electric co-op also shares the attributes of democratic local control for the benefit of its members.


Looking ahead to 2023

Each year, I try to look ahead to the opportunities and challenges that appear to be on the horizon for Ohio’s electric cooperatives. While the topics I’ve highlighted have been important, my views on the future have been overwhelmed by events that “stole the show” in recent years. In 2020, COVID dominated our daily lives, but it was unheard of as I put together my list for that year.

Christmas Morning

Season of giving

This past year seems to have gone by in a blur. Families and businesses have been faced with many challenges here in the U.S. — primarily from much higher costs for many of the things we need most in our daily lives but also from the challenges of simply getting what we need, when we need it because of supply chain snarls that stretch around the world. 


Adapting to meet your needs

Our mission to provide you with a reliable, affordable, and environmentally responsible supply of electricity is an ever-evolving job. For example, our investment in environmental control equipment at Cardinal Plant over the years has made our waste streams cleaner than ever. It also has allowed us to beneficially re-use the combustion byproducts from our coal-fired generation facilities in a variety of useful ways.


Your turn to be heard

More so than ever, public policies — more specifically, government policies — are driving energy prices, choices, and availability. We have experienced a dramatic run-up in the price of every form of energy in less than a year’s time. We continue to witness both actual blackouts and near misses on a more regular basis. Electric cooperatives across the United States and here in Ohio represent less than 10% of the electric industry, but we continue to be among the strongest advocates for reliable, affordable, always-available electricity systems.  


Time for a change

Buckeye Power has been the generation and transmission supplier to Ohio’s electric cooperatives since 1968, producing electricity from power plants and delivering it across the high-voltage transmission network (or “grid”) to each of those 24 electric cooperatives. Throughout this long history, American Electric Power (AEP) has been a partner to Buckeye Power in the generation of electricity — first only at Cardinal Power Plant, but adding more facilities as time went on.