Coal / Energy / FirstEnergy

FirstEnergy’s request for Trump relief draws more critics

TOLEDO — “The Office of the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel has filed a formal protest with U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Alan M. Koschik about FirstEnergy’s request for an emergency order from Mr. Perry to ensure the utility’s nuclear and coal-fired power plants remain economically viable. Created by the Ohio General Assembly in 1976, the OCC is a 35-member state office with a $5.5 million budget that aims to serve the interests of Ohio’s residential customers on matters of investor-owned electric, natural gas, telephone, and water services.

It calls FirstEnergy’s request ‘extraordinary,’ as well as ‘fundamentally unjust and unreasonable for Ohio consumers,’ adding Ohioans will be subject to ‘paying subsidies and above-market prices for electricity’ if a bailout is granted.

‘Requiring customers to subsidize certain coal-fired and nuclear facilities in [the] PJM [region] would inflict unjust, unreasonable and unduly discriminatory rates on Ohio consumers and consumers throughout the PJM region,’ the filing states. ‘Subsidizing certain power plants [and not others] would also undermine the functioning competitive wholesale market that provides consumers reliable electric service at the lowest possible cost.’

…Meanwhile, the Chicago-based Environmental Law & Policy Center — which called upon the NRC to investigate the utility’s decommissioning trust fund days before FES filed for bankruptcy protection — also took that request last month to Judge Koschik through a 96-page petition, where it was joined by the New York-based Environmental Defense Fund, the Ohio Environmental Council, and Ohio Citizen Action.

Those environmental groups hope to get a hearing from the judge on Friday. They cited findings by a private consultant, the Callan Institute, which claimed FES has fallen far off pace of meeting its financial obligation.”

— Tom Henry, Toledo Blade

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