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FirstEnergy’s regulated West Virginia electric utilities, Monongahela Power Company and The Potomac Edison Company, are considering buying the Pleasants Power Station, a 1,300 megawatt coal plant that is scheduled to retire this summer. If FirstEnergy customers are forced to bail out this failing plant, the plant could continue polluting our climate, water, and air for many more years.
Keeping Pleasants Power Station out of FirstEnergy’s regulated utility system isn’t just good for the planet. It’s good business: the Pleasants plant is scheduled to close because it is not competitive with cheaper, cleaner plentiful generation sources. The plant’s coal ash facilities – which are already polluting nearby groundwater – carry enormous liabilities. And FirstEnergy’s WV utilities have previously acknowledged that this plant poses “significant commodity risk.” Talk about a bad investment.
Buying Pleasants Power Station only makes sense to one industry: the coal companies destroying our mountains, polluting our streams, and burning our planet. It’s not too late for FirstEnergy to change their mind. Send their CEO a message now and tell them why you as a customer don’t want them to purchase any more dirty, expensive coal plants.
Just two years ago, FirstEnergy pledged to become carbon neutral by 2050, and achieve a 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. There are many ways FirstEnergy can meet that pledge, and they all have one thing in common: FirstEnergy must start acting now to purposefully transition the two coal plants it already owns to retirement, and get out of the carbon-bomb business. There is no other path to stopping climate change and protecting clean air, clean water, and healthy communities.
Right now, if FirstEnergy does nothing, Pleasants Power Station is scheduled to retire at the end of May. If this plant stops emitting carbon, we will be another critical step closer to stopping climate change.
Tell FirstEnergy not to backpedal on its climate neutrality pledge in the most absurd way possible by buying an old coal plant in 2023 – and at a time when the residents, businesses, and industries they serve in West Virginia are already paying for more than enough power to meet their needs.