Evidentiary Hearing: Day 1 recap

The Energy Freedom Fighter delivered important message for the commissioners and legal teams as they entered the PSC headquarters in Charleston.

The Energy Freedom Fighter delivered important message for the commissioners and legal teams as they entered the PSC headquarters in Charleston.

Lawyers spent most of Tuesday cross-examining Mon Power's lead witness, Jay Ruberto, FirstEnergy's Director of Regulated Generation. He was questioned on a wide range of topics, from Mon Power's claims that it needs additional capacity, to the details of Mon Power's request for proposals for new capacity, to the risks and costs associated with purchasing the coal ash impoundment associated with Pleasants.

Near the end of the day, Dr. John Deskins, WVU's Director of the Bureau of Business & Economic Research, testified in support of the transaction. Mon Power hired him last year to evaluate the economic impact of the operation of the Pleasants plant. However, Deskins admitted he had not evaluated whether the transaction would result in higher electric rates and what the economic impact of higher rates would be across northern WV.

BIG TAKEAWAY: Contrary to FirstEnergy's doom-and-gloom narrative, neither witness testified that the plant will close, and neither witness would say it would today when asked.

ABOUT THAT SETTLEMENT BREAK: It's not uncommon for the PSC Chairman to invite parties to try to settle the case, as he did this morning. Typically if cases settle, they settle before the hearing. So it is less likely now that the case will settle, though certainly not impossible.

TODAY: Expect more cross-examination of the company's witnesses, hopefully finishing the remainder of the company's witnesses (who shouldn't take as long because Mon Power's lead witness went today) and leaving the other parties' witnesses on Thursday. The PSC streams the hearings online. Watch here. The hearings, however, are not archived.

 There's time to get involved...