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Advocates weigh in with federal regulators on FirstEnergy plan

The Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station at Oak Harbor, Ohio, would have a guaranteed buyer for all its output if the PUCO approves a FirstEnergy plan. Photo by Kathiann M. Kowalski.

The Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station at Oak Harbor, Ohio, would have a guaranteed buyer for all its output if the PUCO approves a FirstEnergy plan. Photo by Kathiann M. Kowalski.

COLUMBUS — “FirstEnergy has claimed that consumers would eventually come out ahead, based on its assumption that gas prices will increase significantly over the next eight years.

However, a May 2016 report by the Energy Information Administration projects that natural gas prices will remain below $5 per million British thermal units through 2040. That projection is true with or without the federal Clean Power Plan, the agency reported. In challengers’ eyes, that makes it much more likely that consumers will end up on the losing end of FirstEnergy’s proposed deal.

Under FirstEnergy’s revised plan, captive consumers could still be on the hook for up to $3.6 billion over an eight-year period, economic analyst James Wilson stated in testimony filed with Ohio regulators this week on behalf of the Office of the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel.

Challengers in the FERC proceeding believe the revised plan remains anti-competitive and should not proceed without close scrutiny.”

— Kathiann Kowalski, Midwest Energy News

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