FirstEnergy Nuke Bribery Scandal Deepens – OH Regulator Resigns

The plot thickens in the $60 million FirstEnergy nuclear subsidy bribery scandal. Last week MDN brought you the news that Ohio’s Attorney General, David Yost, had filed a second lawsuit to stop the collection of money from ratepayers that funds $150 million annual payments to FirstEnergy provided for under the law known as House Bill 6 (see OH AG Files 2nd Lawsuit to Block FirstEnergy $150M Nuke Payments). We also told you, in the same post, about a potential sixth person being investigated for involvement in the scandal. We have breaking news about the sixth person…
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OH AG Files 2nd Lawsuit to Block FirstEnergy $150M Nuke Payments

We have a couple of important updates in the neverending saga of the biggest corruption scandal ever to hit Ohio. In July, then-Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and four of his associates were indicted for felonies related to an alleged $60 million bribery scandal in passing the hugely unpopular House Bill 6 (see FirstEnergy Involved in Bribery Scheme to Pass $1B Nuke Bailout Law). Ohio’s Attorney General, Dave Yost, has just filed a second lawsuit to stop the collection of money from ratepayers that funds $150 million annual payments to FirstEnergy provided for under HB 6. We also have news about a potential sixth person being investigated for involvement in the scandal.
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Ernest Moniz: New England’s Zero Emissions Goal Requires NatGas

Ernest Moniz

One of the things Ernest “Hair” Moniz (former Secretary of Energy under Barack Hussein Obama) did after leaving the government was to found a nonprofit clean energy think tank called The Energy Futures Initiative (EFI). EFI along with Energy and Environmental Economics (E3) has just released a report (below) which says, in part, natural gas will be needed to provide reliable energy supplies in New England, despite the region’s religious quest to “decarbonize.” This will not go down well with Bidenistas, especially if old Joe taps Moniz as his Secretary of Energy (as is being rumored).
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Va. NatGas Pipeline Project in Trouble, Gas-Fired Plant in Doubt

Last December MDN told you about a second natural gas-fired power plant planned for Charles City County, Va. (near Richmond) being developed by C4GT (see 2nd Gas-Fired Power Plant, Pipe Coming to Charles City County, VA). It appears the project is in trouble, which means a 24-mile pipeline to feed it is also in trouble. It is because of the pipeline and a regulatory filing that we know about the gas-fired plant’s troubles.
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Talen Energy Dumping Coal, Converting Elec Plants to Gas in PA, MD

On Tuesday, Talen Energy Corp., under extreme litigation pressure from the odious Sierra Club, announced it will eliminate the use of coal at all of the company’s wholly-owned facilities. Back in 2017 MDN brought you the news that Talen’s coal-fired Brunner Island Power Plant, located in York County, PA, is investing $100 million to retrofit the plant so it can burn 100% Marcellus Shale gas by 2028 (see York County, PA Electric Plant Begins Using NatGas as Fuel). Talen owns another coal-fired plant in PA and two in Maryland. Under an agreement with the Sierra Club, Talen will cease coal operations by 2025 in order to avoid more lawsuits from the Sierra Club bullies.
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Biden Assault on O&G Begins – New Plan Cuts NatGas Use Nationwide

That didn’t take long. Following the Democrat media’s declaration Biden won (even though the election has not yet been certified), Biden released a new energy “transition” plan–this morning. In the plan, Biden calls for cutting natural gas usage nationwide by electrifying everything and eliminating all “non-carbon” power production. His minions are gushing about how Biden will transform the EPA and other federal agencies away from “dirty” fossil fuels and to “clean energy.” Let the carnage begin.
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PA DEP Continues to Push Carbon Tax via Public Hearings

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and his Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) continue to push a plan that will raise Pennsylvania residents’ electric rates by 50% or more, a carbon tax plan called the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). The DEP will conduct 10 three-hour virtual public hearings between Dec. 8 and 14. There will be no in-person hearings due to concerns over COVID-19.
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President Trump Replaces Neil Chatterjee as FERC Chairman

In something of a surprise for us, last week as the election returns continued to roll in and votes were counted (or miscounted, in a number of cases), President Trump demoted or fired several top agency heads. One of them was at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Trump demoted FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee and elevated fellow Republican James Danly to become the new Chairman of FERC. Chatterjee will remain a FERC commissioner.
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FirstEnergy Fires CEO, OH Cities Sue to Block Nuke Bailout Pymts

It’s all starting to come undone for FirstEnergy Corporation. Last week two of Ohio’s three largest cities sued to block annual $150 million payments to FirstEnergy’s Energy Harbor subsidiary on the basis those payments are ill-gotten gain, the result of FirstEnergy bribing government officials to pass House Bill 6 (HB 6) and keep it passed (see FirstEnergy Involved in Bribery Scheme to Pass $1B Nuke Bailout Law). Also happening last week: FirstEnergy’s board of directors fired its CEO and two other senior managers in light of the mushrooming scandal.
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2 Defendants Plead Guilty in $60M FirstEnergy Nuclear Bribery Case

In July, now-former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and four of his associates were indicted for felonies related to an alleged $60 million bribery scandal in passing the hugely unpopular House Bill 6 (see FirstEnergy Involved in Bribery Scheme to Pass $1B Nuke Bailout Law). HB 6 gives Energy Harbor, a FirstEnergy subsidiary, $150 million per year for seven years ($1.1 billion) in ratepayer funds to prop up the company’s uneconomic nuclear power plants.
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Renovo Energy Center Roars Back to Life, Upsized to 1,240 MW

Sometimes plans change, for the better! That’s what has happened with a Marcellus-fired power plant planned for Clinton County, PA called the Renovo Energy Center. The last time we wrote about Renovo was in February 2018 (see Marcellus-Fired Electric Plant in Clinton County, PA Gets DEP Approval). Happily, the project is active once again–and it has been upsized.
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Group of Radicalized Ohio State Students Protest…Electricity

A small group of radicalized, spoiled rotten children held a protest yesterday on the Columbus campus of Ohio State University to protest…electricity. That is, they “demanded” (spoiled children always demand, ever notice that?) that OSU not build a clean-burning, Utica gas-fired electric plant. Ahh, kids, how will you get the electricity to recharge your iPhones so you can take self-absorbed selfies and post them on Instagram?
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Philippines Taps New Fortress for LNG Infrastructure, Power Plants

We think we’ve spotted a potential new export market for northeastern Pennsylvania natural gas. New Fortress Energy (NFE) issued a joint announcement yesterday with the Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC) to say NFE will build LNG infrastructure and new gas-fired power plants in The Philippines. The two signed a “memorandum of understanding” (MOU).
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OH Long Ridge Energy Power to Blend Hydrogen with Utica Gas

Long Ridge power plant under construction in Hannibal, Ohio. Photo courtesy of Kiewit.

In June 2019 Long Ridge Energy Terminal in Monroe County, OH (transloading facility) began to build a 485-megawatt Utica gas-fired electric plant (see Work Begins on Gas-Fired Elec Plant in Monroe County, OH). The new Utica-fired plant is supposed to be up and running in “late 2021.” But what’s this? Even before it’s built, the owners have announced they are transitioning the plant away from Utica gas to burn hydrogen instead.
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ESC Suspends WV Brooke County Power Plant Project

Well that’s disappointing. Earlier this year Energy Solutions Consortium (ESC) asked the State of West Virginia to guarantee a $5.5 million loan for a proposed new shale gas-fired power plant planned for Brooke County which would help them secure even more funding for the project. Several weeks ago the state went one better than the original request and said it would not only guarantee the loan, it would actually make the loan (see WV Brooke County Power Plant Gets $5.5M Direct Loan from State). And now it’s all off…
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