September will be a pivotal month in the effort to stop Ohio-based FirstEnergy’s attempt to soak West Virginia ratepayers by offloading its unprofitable Pleasants Power Station on us. The West Virginia Public Service Commission is holding a series of public hearings on the matter. These public forums are a terrific opportunity for us to make our voices heard.
Under the current ownership structure, FirstEnergy makes a profit (or loss) based on whether the revenues obtained from selling the plant’s electricity cover the costs of owning and operating the plant. Currently, the plant is running at a loss for FirstEnergy. FirstEnergy wants to transfer ownership of the plant to another subsidiary the company owns. If FirstEnergy is allowed to transfer ownership to Mon Power and Potomac Edison, West Virginia ratepayers, not FirstEnergy, will be on the hook for covering the plant’s losses.
A recent study found this cost could be as high as $470 million, or $69 per West Virginia household per year for the next 15 years. This is a cost we shouldn’t be forced to bare. West Virginia ratepayers have been down this road before. The acquisition of the Harrison power plant four years ago has already cost us $160 million.
We can stop this bad, unfair deal, but we’ll need strong public support to persuade the Public Service Commission that they should reject this unnecessary waste of our money.
PARKERSBURG: September 6, 6 p.m., Municipal Building, Council Chambers, 3rd and Avery streets, RSVP here
MARTINSBURG: September 11, 7 p.m., City Building, Municipal Courtroom, 232 North Queen Street, 1st floor, RSVP here
MORGANTOWN: September 12, 6 p.m., Monongalia County Justice Center, 75 High Street, Judge Tucker’s Courtroom, 3rd floor, RSVP here
If you are unable to attend a hearing, you can submit public comments to:
Ingrid Ferrell, Executive Secretary
P.O. Box 812
Charleston, WV 25323
All written comments should be marked with Case No. 17-0296-E-PC.
Public comment may also be made online at http://www.psc.state.wv.us by clicking on “Submit a Comment” in the left column and by following the directions provided.