Coalition Opposes FirstEnergy’s Bad Deal for WV

Coalition Opposes FirstEnergy’s Bad Deal for West Virginia

By Emmett Pepper and Crystal Dempsey

WVCAG’s Energy Efficient West Virginia (EEWV) project has helped launch a coalition called West Virginians For Energy Freedom (WV4EF) to oppose FirstEnergy’s plan to transfer the obsolete Pleasants Power Plant to Mon Power and Potomac Edison. WV4EF has grown very quickly since its launch in January and gained traction against FirstEnergy Corp.’s bad deal for West Virginia with a wide array of organizations, business, and elected officials now opposing the transfer. (Click here to see the full roster of members.)

In February, WV4EF members and advocate Debbie Dooley, founder of the Green Tea Coalition and Conservatives for Energy Freedom, met with state lawmakers to build support to defeat the Pleasants transfer. The coalition also hosted community conversations throughout the spring and summer, educating the public about the sale and nearly 1,000 people already have signed the #NoWVBailoutForFirstEnergy petition on EnergyFreedomWV.org’s Take Action page.

West Virginians don’t want to bail out FirstEnergy Corp. and its shareholders, and we shouldn’t have to!

FirstEnergy Corp, the Ohio-based parent company of Mon Power and Potomac Edison, wants to have Mon Power purchase the Pleasants plant from another FirstEnergy subsidiary.This plan shifts the cost and economic risk of the Pleasants plant from FirstEnergy onto regular West Virginians who are Mon Power and Potomac Edison customers.

First Energy’s transfer would force Mon Power and Potomac Edison customers to pay for the plant’s costs for the next several decades. FirstEnergy’s similar transfer of ownership of the Harrison Power Plant in 2013 has cost Mon Power and Potomac Edison customers more than $160 million so far. Our expert says the Pleasants deal will likely cost WV ratepayers more than $400 MILLION over 15 years.

If FirstEnergy gets its way, Mon Power and Potomac Edison customers will be on the hook for the $400 MILLION and pay higher rates.

Mon Power filed its petition to purchase the Pleasants plant on March 7, 2017, with the Public Service Commission (PSC) of West Virginia. At the urging of WV4EF and others, the PSC will have public hearings in Parkersburg, Martinsburg, and Morgantown in early September. The PSC will hear the case in late September and issue its final decision, probably in January of 2018.

We need your help! If you are a Mon Power or Potomac Edison customer, please take some time to come to a public hearing. Show up, speak out and make your voice heard! Here is the full schedule:

Parkersburg – Wednesday, Sept. 6 

Parkersburg City Municipal Building 

5:30 p.m.: Rally

6 p.m.: Hearing

Martinsburg – Monday, Sept. 11

Martinsburg City Building

6:30 p.m.: Rally

7 p.m.: Hearing

Morgantown – Tuesday, Sept. 12

Monongalia County Justice Center

5:30 p.m.: Rally

6 p.m.: Hearing

Can’t make it to a hearing? For other ways to get involved and to get your comments in the public docket go to energyfreedomwv.org/take-action.  

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