FirstEnergy Loses OH Supreme Court Case to Block Referendum

The mafiosi at FirstEnergy lost their lawsuit filed with the Ohio Supreme Court in a bid to block a referendum aimed at giving all Ohio residents the right to vote to overturn an ill-conceived corporate welfare law passed that puts $1 billion into FirstEnergy’s pocket in order to keep two failing nuclear power plants open. Although they lost the case, FirstEnergy claims the Supreme Court decision is a “victory” for their attempt to keep their grubby hands on taxpayer’s money. How does that work?
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FirstEnergy Uses Questionable Tactics Against Referendum Workers

All we can say is, shame on FirstEnergy. They hired people to block petition gatherers trying to get signatures for a referendum for the November ballot. The tactics used can only be described as bullying–sometimes physical. Workers are trying to get enough signatures on a petition to place a referendum on the November ballot. The referendum, if adopted, would overturn House Bill 6 which grants a $1 billion bailout to FirstEnergy’s economically failing nuclear power plants (see Ohio Nuke Bailout Law Means Fewer Natgas-Fired Electric Plants). FirstEnergy doesn’t want to give up that money.
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FirstEnergy Spends $1M/Week on Ads Claiming Chinese Grid Takeover

Ohio’s major newspapers continue to push back against phony commercials being run by FirstEnergy in a desperate attempt to block a referendum to overturn House Bill (HB) 6 (see FirstEnergy Runs Attack Ad, Claims China Controls OH NatGas Plants). HB 6, a corporate welfare bill, was recently passed to prop up two FirstEnergy bankrupt nuclear power plants and several coal-fired plants, soaking ratepayers in order to feed the FirstEnergy beast (see Ohio Nuke Bailout Law Means Fewer Natgas-Fired Electric Plants).
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FirstEnergy Asks OH Supreme Court to Block Bailout Referendum

FirstEnergy continues its desperate attempt to prevent a referendum measure from hitting the fall ballot in Ohio that would overturn a recently passed (very bad) law that bails out FirstEnergy’s failing nuclear power plants in the state to the tune of $1.5 billion. Earlier this week we told you FirstEnergy is running tinfoil hat commercials claiming China would soon control Ohio’s electric grid if the bailout bill is overturned (see FirstEnergy Runs Attack Ad, Claims China Controls OH NatGas Plants). Now FirstEnergy is asking the Ohio Supreme Court to block the ballot measure, denying voters the opportunity to vote.
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FirstEnergy Runs Attack Ad, Claims China Controls OH NatGas Plants

“Bizarre” is the only word that comes to mind to describe a despicable, lowest-of-the-low, lying attack ad being run in Ohio by a front group for FirstEnergy meant to defend and preserve a horrible corporate welfare bailout law passed to prop up FirstEnergy’s economically dying nuclear (and coal) power plants. The $1 million ad campaign claims if the new law is repealed (a good chance of that happening), that somehow China will be in charge of the electric grid in Ohio. It is totally wackadoodle and an outright lie.
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FirstEnergy Knocks $100M Off Sale Price of 4 PA Gas Power Plants

FirstEnergy, based in Akron, OH, is one of the nation’s largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York. FirstEnergy owns a variety of regulated and non-regulated power generation plants. Last November the company announced it wants to sell five power generating plants, four of them natural gas-fired plants in Pennsylvania, plus a hydroelectric plant in Virginia (see FirstEnergy Selling 4 NatGas-Fired Electric Plants in PA). The plants being sold are non-regulated–part of FirstEnergy’s strategy to become a 100% “regulated” utility in the next 12 months. Last December FirstEnergy announced they had found a buyer, LS Power Equity Partners, willing to pay $885 million (later revised to $925 million) for the whole package (see FirstEnergy Finds Buyer for 4 PA NatGas-Fired Power Plants). However, negotiating the finer points of the deal has been “a challenge” and now FirstEnergy says in order to complete the deal, they’re willing to lower the price to $825 million…
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40 Ohio Groups Band Together to Oppose FirstEnergy’s Nuke Bailout

In April, MDN brought you news of an effort underway in Ohio to tax Ohio ratepayers $5.4 billion and give that money to FirstEnergy to prevent some of its nuclear power plants from closing (see OH Law Would Bailout Nuke Plants for $5.4B, Kill NatGas Plants). Given stiff regulations, nuke plants face stiff competition in the free marketplace. Natural gas-fired plants are cheaper to build and operate, and deliver cheaper electricity. Since nukes can’t compete in the free and open market, FirstEnergy wants to rig the game, all in the name of “energy diversity” and keeping their nuke plants open (and investors happy). Rate-paying Ohioans get screwed in the process. Some 40 groups have banded together for form the Coalition Against Nuclear Bailouts. Some are big groups, some are individuals. They are diverse. For example, the far-left AARP (disgusting organization) is in the coalition. So too is the Ohio Oil and Gas Association (OOGA) and the National Association of Royalty Owners (NARO). Plus some pastors of churches, and local politicians. Feels kind of weird to support an organization with groups like the AARP in it. But perhaps the enemy of my enemy is my friend. At least in this case. It is, truly, a nonpartisan (or should we say bipartisan) coalition that has risen up to fight the nuclear bailout…Continue reading

FirstEnergy Upgrading W PA Electric Grid, Some Benefit for Shale

FirstEnergy is one of the nation’s largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York. We’ve reported on a number of projects launched by FirstEnergy to assist the shale industry–running power lines to natural gas processing plants, etc. (see FirstEnergy Investing $100M in Electric Projects for WV Marcellus). FirstEnergy has just announced another $235 million of upgrades/investments in its West Penn service area. Some of those upgrades are targeted at serving the shale industry. But FirstEnergy is conflicted. Although it loves to help midstream companies and drillers by selling them electricity, it doesn’t like it when private, independent (and competitive) companies actually produce the electricity, from shale gas, that competes with FirstEnergy’s own electric supplies. In Ohio, FirstEnergy is attempting to get the state to re-regulate the electric industry to freeze out new natgas-fired electric plants (see OH Fight to Re-Regulate Electric Industry – Impacts on Shale). So although FirstEnergy professes its love of the shale industry, it’s a conditional love…
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Buyer of FirstEnergy’s PA NatGas Power Plants Revealed

FirstEnergy, based in Akron, OH, is one of the nation’s largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York. FirstEnergy owns a variety of regulated and non-regulated power generation plants. In November the company announced it wants to sell six power generating plants in PA, four of them natural gas-fired plants (see FirstEnergy Selling 4 NatGas-Fired Electric Plants in PA). The plants being sold are non-regulated–part of FirstEnergy’s strategy to become a 100% “regulated” utility in the next 18 months. In December FirstEnergy announced they found a buyer willing to pay $885 million for the four natgas plants in PA (see FirstEnergy Finds Buyer for 4 PA NatGas-Fired Power Plants). However, the buyer’s identity remained a secret–until now. LS Power Equity Partners III LP, a New York-based power developer, is the buyer of the four natgas-fired electric plants…
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FirstEnergy Finds Buyer for 4 PA NatGas-Fired Power Plants

FirstEnergy, based in Akron, OH, is one of the nation’s largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York. FirstEnergy owns a variety of regulated and non-regulated power generation plants. In November the company announced it wants to sell six power generating plants in PA, four of them natural gas-fired plants (see FirstEnergy Selling 4 NatGas-Fired Electric Plants in PA). The plants being sold are non-regulated–part of FirstEnergy’s strategy to become a 100% “regulated” utility in the next 18 months. Good news: FirstEnergy found a buyer willing to pay $885 million for the four natgas plants in PA…
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FirstEnergy Flips the Switch on New Marcellus Power Line

FirstEnergyFirstEnergy is one of the nation’s largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York. FirstEnergy loves the shale industry. We told you in December 2014 that FirstEnergy was planning to invest $100 million in new electric transmission projects to service the growing Marcellus and Utica Shale industry in WV (see FirstEnergy Investing $100M in Electric Projects for WV Marcellus). FirstEnergy’s construction crews have begun erecting steel poles for a new 18-mile high voltage power line that will run through Harrison and Doddridge counties in WV in April (see FirstEnergy Installs $92M Electric Line in WV for Shale Industry). Great news! FirstEnergy flipped the switch on the new line and the electric is now flowing…
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FirstEnergy Selling 4 NatGas-Fired Electric Plants in PA

for-sale-sign.jpgThe energy industry in our country is complicated and takes a while to wrap your brain around just how it works. Especially the utility industry. Companies that produce and then distribute electricity (and natural gas) are in some cases regulated by the government–meaning what they charge is strictly controlled–and in some cases not regulated. Some local utilities produce the electricity, via a nuclear plant, or coal-fired generating plant, or natural gas-fired plant, as well as distribute that electricity to customers. Other utilities just distribute the electricity. And still others just produce the electricity. Sometimes producing electricity is regulated by the government (i.e. price controlled) and other times it is not. Is your head spinning yet? FirstEnergy, based in Akron, OH, is one of the nation’s largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York. FirstEnergy owns a variety of regulated and non-regulated power generation plants. Last Friday the company announced it will sell six power generating plants in PA, four of them natural gas-fired plants. The plants being sold are non-regulated. This is part of FirstEnergy’s strategy to become a 100% “regulated” utility in the next 18 months. Which plants are going on the auction block?…
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FirstEnergy Installs $92M Electric Line in WV for Shale Industry

FirstEnergy
FirstEnergy building new electric line in WV – click for larger image

FirstEnergy is one of the nation’s largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York. FirstEnergy loves the shale industry. We told you in December 2014 that FirstEnergy was planning to invest $100 million in new electric transmission projects to service the growing Marcellus and Utica Shale industry in WV (see FirstEnergy Investing $100M in Electric Projects for WV Marcellus). Good news: FirstEnergy’s construction crews have begun erecting steel poles for a new 18-mile high voltage power line that will run through Harrison and Doddridge counties in WV. The new power line will help power both processing plants and compressor stations that flow Marcellus and Utica Shale gas…
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FirstEnergy Working Like Crazy to Clean Up Future OH Cracker Site

In June FirstEnergy Corp. kind-of, sort-of confirmed that their now-closed R.E. Burger power plant site in Belmont County, OH would be the location for the future PTT Global Chemical ethane cracker plant (see FirstEnergy Confirms Their Site is Future Home of OH Cracker). FirstEnergy has gone from being cagey and reticent to admit theirs is the site that will be used, to frenetic activity/can’t get it cleaned up fast enough. They are hauling out old coal power plant equipment and working to turn the brownfield site into a greenfield site within a year–to have it ready to sell to PTT sometime in 2016. Here’s what they’re currently doing at the site to get it ready…
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FirstEnergy Building $63M WV Electric Substation for NatGas Plant

questionFirstEnergy Corp., an electric utility operating in the Appalachian region, announced yesterday they will construct a new substation near Smithfield, WV along with a new two-mile transmission line–in order to send more electricity to a nearby natural gas processing plant. FirstEnergy is spending $63 million to build the new substation and transmission line. The announcement doesn’t name the owner of the natgas processing plant, but we have a guess…
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300 Acres Next to FirstEnergy Site Part of Belmont Cracker Plan

nextdoor neighborA few more details about the proposed site for an ethane cracker plant in Belmont County (see It’s Official: Belmont County Chosen as POSSIBLE Cracker Plant Site). The proposed site is the existing 130-acre R.E. Burger Plant, a coal-fired electric generating plant owned and operated by Ohio utility company FirstEnergy (see FirstEnergy Says Talk of Selling Land for OH Cracker “Premature”). However, we now know that the $5.7 billion chemical complex, to be built by Thailand-based PTT Global Chemical, will require far more than 130 acres. The new ethane cracker facility will require something like 450-500 acres. So where will the other land surrounding the R.E. Burger Plant come from? The nextdoor neighbor…
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