Duke ribbon-cutting has several meanings

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 1, 2003

Tribune editorial staff

When Duke Energy officially cut the ribbon for its Duke/Fluor Daniel Hanging Rock Power Plant in Hamilton Township Tuesday, it signified more than just a new business in the county.

After all, it is not every day that the governor comes around for a ribbon-cutting ceremony, but yesterday, Gov. Bob Taft was on hand to help Duke and Lawrence County welcome the new plant. The plant, which began commercial operations in June and was fully energized in July, means much more to Lawrence County than the 29 people it

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August's blackout has shed light on the need to update the nation's power grid. As Taft pointed out Tuesday, efficient-running power plants such as Duke are a necessity for a sufficient energy supply. The $600 million Lawrence County plant produces 765,000 volts, employing one of the largest lines in the country, which is owned by American Electric Power.

The Duke plant serves as a tool to attract other businesses to Lawrence county. Heavy industries need lots of power, and when that power is being produced close to home, it makes it that much more appealing.

Gov. Taft also lauded Lawrence County's good workforce and quality of life Tuesday, and said a push is being made at the state level for economic development in Southern Ohio. We hope Taft is true to his word and the other lawmakers recognize what we have here when businesses come knocking.

With little help from state leaders, this area - Lawrence County in particular - is primed for economic development. We have two attractive industrial parks, The Point and the Ironton Commerce Center, good people, good schools and a good place to raise a family. All we need are the jobs to support our economy.

Duke Energy's Hamilton Township plant is a good start, but we need to see more companies plant their roots in Lawrence County.