Ohio Newspapers Call Out Pro-Nuke/Anti-Referendum Ads as Lies

Not even Ohio’s left-leaning news organizations can go along with the phony commercials being run by First Energy 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 was recently passed to prop up two FirstEnergy bankrupt nuclear power plants and several coal-fired plants (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 The $1 million ad campaign claims if the new law is repealed (a good chance of that happening), that somehow China will be in charge of the electric grid in Ohio.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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PennEnergy Offers $3.5K/Ac to Drill Under SWPA Town Park

NOTE: This story and the headline have been updated to correct an earlier error from the source we used. It is not FirstEnergy but PennEnergy that is proposing to drill under the park.

We spotted a second story today about a new lease, in this case proposed lease terms, for land in southwestern Pennsylvania. This time the driller, PennEnergy, wants to drill under (not on) a town park that sits on the border of Allegheny and Beaver counties.
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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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PTT Global Buys Land for Belmont, OH Ethane Cracker Plant

Although a final investment decision (FID) is still months away, Thailand-based PTT Global Chemical decided spending $13.8 million to buy 168 acres at the proposed site for a second Appalachia ethane cracker, in Belmont County, OH, would be a good investment. Which they have now done. The deal, which closed in June, is just now coming to light. PTT bought the land for the site from FirstEnergy Corporation. The deal was recorded at the Belmont County Courthouse on June 14. This is yet another sign that PTT will make a positive FID later this year. Even though PTT just bought the land, work was previously done on the site to clear it and get it ready for construction, as we reported in December (see OH Cracker Final Decision Coming Soon, Site Now Cleared & Ready). Fingers crossed that this $5 billion project gets the go-ahead later this year…
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OH Law Would Bailout Nuke Plants for $5.4B, Kill NatGas Plants

In January, MDN highlighted a developing issue in Ohio that potentially impacts Utica/Marcellus shale in the region (see OH Power Cos. Try to Stop Gas-Fired Plants with “Re-Regulation”). Three large utility companies–FirstEnergy, American Electric Power, and Dayton Power and Light–are behind an effort to re-regulate the electric power generation industry in Ohio. The electricity industry is a complicated industry, with some some power producers operating as “regulated” and some operating as “unregulated.” Regulated power producers have their rates, and rate of profit, set by government regulators–which limits but also guarantees profits. Unregulated power producers, on the other hand, do not have the safety net of the government forcing ratepayers to pony up–they operate in the free market, taking all of the risks, and reaping the rewards if those risks prove worthwhile. Many (most?) of the new natural gas-fired electric plants getting built, like those we have focused on in Ohio, are of the unregulated kind. If Ohio rolls back the clock 18 years to re-regulate, it would likely spell the end of billions of dollars of investments in unregulated/shale-powered electric plants. A disaster. The latest tact companies like FirstEnergy are using to force through a rotten piece of legislation is to claim without it, their nuclear power plants will close down. And precious “diversity” of sources to generate electricity is needed. The legislation proposed (Senate Bill 128 and House Bill 178, same language) is actually a $5.4 billion bailout for FirstEnergy. So says Clean Energy Future CEO Bill Siderwicz. Clean Energy is in the middle of investing $4.5 billion in five new shale-fired electric plants in Ohio. That investment and those plants will disappear if this disastrous “bailout FirstEnergy” bill becomes law…
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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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JobsOhio Picks Up the $17M Cost for Prepping OH Cracker Site

On Monday MDN reported that the future site for an ethane cracker in Belmont County, OH is now cleared and ready for construction to begin (see OH Cracker Final Decision Coming Soon, Site Now Cleared & Ready). Clearing the site, which once hosted the R.E. Burger coal-fired power plant, was no small task. The power plant site, owned and (until 2011) operated by FirstEnergy cost $14 million for demolition, remediation and general cleaning up. An adjacent site (not owned by FirstEnergy) cost another $3 million to tidy up. All told it took $17 million to clean up the site and get it ready to begin construction. FirstEnergy is reported to have said they were “excited” by the opportunity to spend $14 million to clean it up. Wait, what? They wanted to spend the money? Well actually, no, they didn’t. FirstEnergy spent the money to clean up the site because they have been/are being reimbursed for the cost by JobsOhio. So FirstEnergy (and PTT Global, the company that will build the cracker) doesn’t have to spend a dime to get the site ready to go. What is JobsOhio and where does it get all this money? Glad you asked! JobsOhio is a private, non-profit with a board appointed by Ohio Gov. John Kasich, which gets most of its operating revenue from taxes on liquor sales in Ohio. So raise a glass to the cracker, Ohioans. Your imbibing is helping to build it…
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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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Work Begins on $40M Electric Substation in W PA to Help Marcellus

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Work Underway on New FirstEnergy Transmission Substation to Support Western Pennsylvania Shale Gas Industry – click for larger version

FirstEnergy Corp., an electric generating and distribution company based in Akron, OH, is blessed to have operations squarely in the Marcellus/Utica region. FirstEnergy has been an important (and valued) partner for the drilling and pipeline industry by providing electric service to a number of processing plants and compressor stations (see our FirstEnergy stories here). Yesterday FirstEnergy announced they have begun construction on an electric transmission substation in western PA (Washington County). The $40 million project will “support two natural gas processing facilities being developed in the area.” Who do the processing facilities belong to that will benefit from more electricity?…
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Marcellus Electric Line Vandalized in WV – $20K Reward Offered

jail cellFirstEnergy 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. In April, MDN reported that FirstEnergy’s construction crews had begun erecting steel poles for a new 18-mile high voltage power line that will run through Harrison and Doddridge counties in WV (see FirstEnergy Installs $92M Electric Line in WV for Shale Industry). The new $92 million power line project will help power both processing plants and compressor stations that flow Marcellus and Utica Shale gas. In what appears to be an act of environmental vandalism (terrorism?) somebody used a cutting torch to destroy 28 anchor bolts on a foundation, preventing FirstEnergy from proceeding with their work on the project. FirstEnergy is offering a $20,000 reward to catch the sleazebag that did the deed…
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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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