Advocacy campaigns

Action alert: Email your lawmakers and ask them to oppose FirstEnergy's bad deal

As the Public Service Commission weighs FirstEnergy's proposed sale of the Pleasants Power Station, there's another group of leaders who might be able to affect the decision.

Members of the West Virginia Senate and House of Representatives don't have a vote on the case but they do represent YOU! Ask your lawmakers to join the more than 2,500 people who have registered their opposition with the PSC.

Click here to send an email to the legislators who represent you in Charleston.

There's a pre-written email but we encourage you to edit the message to add your own concerns. Got a question or suggestion? Click here to send us an email.

Action Alert: Thank the CAD for standing up for ratepayers

Join us in recognizing the hard work of another intervenor in FirstEnergy Corp.'s bad deal for West Virginians before the Public Service Commission of West Virginia.

The Consumer Advocate Division, created by statute in 1981, is an independent division of the PSC that primarily advocates for residential customers. The CAD will almost always intervene in cases before the PSC for customers, striving to keep utility rates as low as possible.

In the FirstEnergy case, the CAD's witnesses submitted strong testimony to commissioners. Here are some highlights:

  • "The primary risks to ratepayers are the capacity is not needed and the costs are too high. These are the same risks FE shareholders no longer want to bear."
     
  • "The Mon Power and Potomac Edison Petition for approval of the acquisition filed in West Virginia Public Service Commission Case No. 17- 0296-E-PC itself states on page 6 that 'AE Supply will likely either sell Pleasants to another party or retire it... .' If retirement is the highest value option, Pleasants is not worth $150 per kW. In fact, AE Supply would be better off paying a third party to accept the Pleasants’ liability rather than to shutter it.”

Click here for to read the CAD’s full testimony.

Please take a moment to send a note to the CAD to thank them for their strong work on behalf of ratepayers! Remember: they are here for YOU!

Click here to send the CAD staff a "Thank You" fax.

Updates: Op/Ed in The Parkersburg News and Sentinel; hearing details

No Bailout For FirstEnergy Red

William Ambrose of Parkersburg delivered a strong Op/Ed in Sunday's issue of The Parkersburg News and Sentinel against FirstEnergy Corp.'s corporate bailout attempt with the Pleasants power plant deal before the PSC. Ambrose is a retired surveyor and founding member of Mid-Ohio Valley Climate Action, a member of West Virginians For Energy Freedom coalition. Below are a few excerpts from his excellent piece on FirstEnergy's bad deal for West Virginians. Click here to read the full commentary and leave a comment if you're so inclined (Tip: If the Google survey pops up, scroll to the bottom of it and click "Skip survey").

"FirstEnergy’s rationale for the sale is a bunch of high-minded double talk about how it will benefit energy consumers. Once you understand the issues, however, it becomes clear it is actually a cynical ploy to bail out a non-competitive drag on their portfolio with a hefty subsidy forced onto their customers."

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"FirstEnergy knows its cost saving argument can’t withstand scrutiny. They’re hoping the PSC will swallow their assertion that they’re in the beginning of a capacity shortfall that will peak in 2027 and require Pleasants to shore it up."

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"FirstEnergy is hoping this sale gets connected to “war on coal “ hysteria in enough people’s minds to obscure what’s really happening: A shameless, predatory corporate bailout."

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Click here to read a pithy Letter To The Editor that also published in Sunday's News and Sentinel.

Join us Wednesday at the PSC Public Hearing in Parkersburg. West Virginians For Energy Freedom is holding a pre-rally hearing at 5:30 p.m. outside the Parkersburg Municipal Building. Click here for more information on the rally and the hearing. 

Wear dark blue to demonstrate your opposition to FirstEnergy's bailout attempt. Stop by our table for a "No WV Bailout sticker," talking points and more. Got a question? Click here to email us.

PSC receives nearly 1,000 petitions against FirstEnergy’s Pleasants plan

The Energy Freedom Fighter, who stands up for West Virginians and battles corporate welfare, is making a special delivery to the PSC!

Posted by West Virginians For Energy Freedom on Tuesday, August 15, 2017

On Tuesday, Aug. 15, West Virginians For Energy Freedom members – along with a new superhero – delivered to the Public Service Commission of West Virginia nearly 1,000 petitions protesting FirstEnergy Corp.’s Pleasants Power Station sale.

The delivery was made to the PSC office in Charleston. Watch the Facebook Live video at right.

FirstEnergy, the Ohio-based parent company of Mon Power and Potomac Edison, seeks to transfer the Pleasants Plant to its Mon Power subsidiary from another FirstEnergy subsidiary. If approved by the PSC, costs will be passed on to Mon Power and Potomac Edison's West Virginia customers.

West Virginians For Energy Freedom is a coalition of economic and ratepayer advocacy groups, faith-based organizations, businesses, and elected officials who oppose FirstEnergy’s bailout attempt.

The Energy Freedom Fighter, a superhero who stands up for West Virginians against out-of-state utility companies, presented petitions along with WV4EFcoalition members. The caped, masked crusader chose to remain silent during the delivery. “The signatures of hundreds and hundreds of West Virginians speaks volumes about opposition to the proposed sale,” said Karan Ireland, program director for WV Solar United Neighborhoods (WV SUN), a founding member of the coalition.

“West Virginians For Energy Freedom want to make sure Chairman Mike Albert and Commissioners Brooks McCabe and Renee Larrick are aware of the number of people who do not support FirstEnergy’s tactics,” said Ireland.

On March 15, WV SUN and West Virginia Citizen Action Group (WVCAG) filed a motion to intervene with the PSC over FirstEnergy’s proposed sale of the Pleasants plant. In early May, the groups also filed a protest against FirstEnergy with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The Federal Power Act prohibits such transfers if they would result in a public utility inappropriately cross-subsidizing a corporate affiliate.

“The proposed Pleasants sale is purely a business maneuver to transfer ownership from a deregulated state like Ohio to a regulated state,” said Emmett Pepper, executive director of Energy Efficiency West Virginia, another founding member of the coalition. “And it’s a bad deal for consumers that is familiar to Mon Power and Potomac Edison consumers.”

In 2013, WV Public Service Commissioners Albert and Jon McKinney, approved FirstEnergy’s transfer of ownership of the Harrison power plant in Haywood to Mon Power. Commissioner Ryan Palmer was the lone vote against that transfer.

The Harrison sale has cost Mon Power and Potomac Edison customers more than $160 million, so far, according to industry analysts. “That FirstEnergy deal is fresh in people’s minds since they see it every month when they go to pay their power bill,” Pepper said.

Another part of West Virginians For Energy Freedom's mission is to give people tools to engage and have a voice in what happens to their money.

Along with the petition drive and a letter-writing campaign on the public hearing sites, the coalition added a Fax the PSC tool to its website (EnergyFreedomWV.org) to make it easy for people to send in comments for the public docket.

The fax machine is one of the four ways the PSC accepts public comments on a case. The Fax the PSC tool allows people to send a fax from their laptops and phones. "People tell us it's more convenient than navigating the PSC website to send an email and takes less time than mailing a letter,” Pepper said.

During the coalition’s first #FaxThePSC Day campaign Aug. 10, the PSC received 40 faxes protesting FirstEnergy.

Commissioners will hear from consumers at the PSC’s public hearings in Parkersburg on Sept. 6, Martinsburg, Sept. 11 and Morgantown, Sept. 12. “We want to pack the chambers so commissioners will hear and see the people who will be most affected by FirstEnergy’s bad deal,” said Ireland. West Virginians For Energy Freedom will hold rallies before the hearings.

And you can keep an eye out the Energy Freedom Fighter around the Mountain State. The consumer crusader will be at events, fairs, and festivals to raise awareness about the public hearings and get more signatures for the petitions.

Action alert: Today is FAX THE PSC Day!

WV flag Fax The PSC Day

Speak up for West Virginia today (Thursday, Aug. 10) during our FAX THE PSC Day!

From 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. today, send a fax to the Public Service Commission of West Virginia and ask them to say NO to FirstEnergy Corp.'s bailout attempt with the proposed sale of the Pleasants Power Station near Parkersburg.

FirstEnergy, the Ohio-based parent company of Mon Power and Potomac Edison, has long hinted at plans to have Mon Power purchase the Pleasants power plant from another FirstEnergy subsidiary. The scheme, if successful, shifts the plant’s costs onto Mon Power and Potomac Edison’s West Virginia customers. FirstEnergy’s scheme is now moving forward. Mon Power is seeking approval from the PSC to buy Pleasants.

A similar transfer of ownership of the Harrison Power Plant in 2013 has cost Mon Power and Potomac Edison customers more than $160 million so far.

Don't have a fax machine at your fingertips? You do now! A feature on our website allows you to Fax to the PSC from your laptop or desktop computer. You'll find a pre-written letter that you can edit to add your own thoughts and points. 

After sending your fax, please share the Fax The PSC tool on Facebook and Twitter or forward this link to friends and neighbors: http://energyfreedomwv.org/take-action/

Click here to Fax The PSC today!

Already sent a fax? Thank you for speaking up for West Virginians. Got a question? Email Info@EnergyFreedomWV.org.

CLICK HERE TO RSVP FOR THE PSC PUBLIC HEARINGS AND OUR PRE-HEARING RALLIES!

 

Letter-writing campaign asks PSC for multiple Public Hearing sites

Your voice is needed TODAY!

PSC case number for FirstEnergy Pleasants transfer

West Virginians For Energy Freedom launched its letter-writing campaign to request the Commissioners schedule at least three Public Hearings in the coverage areas impacted by this deal.

FirstEnergy, an Ohio-based utility, is seeking a bailout for its shareholders by transferring ownership of the Pleasants Power Station from one subsidiary to two other subsidiaries, Monongahela Power and Potomac Edison.

Our Public Hearings letter-writing campaign advocates that the PSC schedule at least three Public Hearings in both Mon Power and Potomac Edison service territories and not at the PSC's headquarters in Charleston. Public Hearings are expected to take place in August or early September. Click here for more information on that campaign.

We will continue to hold Community Conversations and speak to groups in Mon Power and Potomac Edison on why the proposed Pleasants plant transfer would hurt consumers in West Virginia but benefit FirstEnergy's shareholders.