Sunday, October 24, 2021

Play

Some states entice people back to the workplace by increasing safety standards and higher minimum wage; Bannon held in Contempt of Congress; and the latest cyber security concerns.

Play

House votes to hold Bannon in contempt of Congress; Trump announces new social media platform TRUTH Social; and the Biden administration says it will continue to expel migrants under Title 42.

Play

An all-Black Oklahoma town joins big cities in seeking reparations; a Kentucky vaccination skeptic does a 180; telehealth proves invaluable during pandemic; and spooky destinations lure tourists at Halloween.

Critics Attack "Bailout of Dirty, Expensive" Power Plant

Play

Thursday, June 22, 2017   

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The Monongahela Power Company is asking ratepayers to pay more to bail out a Marion County power plant that critics charge is dirty, already expensive and damaging to the air, land and water.

Customers currently pay a bit above the market rate for the Grant Town Power Plant because the small power station was designed to burn waste coal – low-energy gob from old mines.

But Jim Kotcon, chair of the West Virginia chapter of the Sierra Club, says Monongahela Power is asking the Public Service Commission to make ratepayers pay even more to keep an especially dirty power plant running, and keep its operators out of bankruptcy.

"Mon Power really doesn't need that generation, and they certainly shouldn't have to force their customers to pay higher rates in order to keep that plant on-line," he states.

Monongahela Power argues that it does need the generating capacity and that Grant Town is helping to clean up an environmental issue.

Kotcon argues the environmental benefit is "marginal at best," and Grant Town is one of most expensive and polluting power sources in West Virginia.

Kotcon says if the PSC agrees to another in what is becoming a series of the coal plant bailouts, ratepayers would pay about twice the rate that wholesale electricity could be bought for off the grid. In return, he says they sustain a power plant that has some of the highest air pollution numbers in the West Virginia.

"Some of these gob piles are getting cleaned up, but at the same time they're creating new mines that require reclamation,” he stresses. “In addition the ash leads to leaching of salts and heavy metals and other problems going into the water."

The fly ash from Grant Town is being applied to mine remediation sites to reduce acid mine drainage.

But Kotcon points out the ash from gob is high in heavy metals, which are free to leach into the surface water from the old mines. He says there are cheaper, cleaner options that are less of a risk than the already subsidized Grant Town plant.

"Even at that inflated price, they are on the verge of bankruptcy,” Kotcon points out. “It is certainly not one that is competitive, given how cheap natural gas or wind power or even solar power would be."

Grant Town supporters say closing the power plant would be hard on the community and the 170 employees. The proposal would raise the cost of power from the plant by 14 percent.



get more stories like this via email

California has collected more than 600 tons of unwanted prescription drugs since the Take-Back Day program began in 2010. (Dodgerton Skillhause/Morguefile)

Health and Wellness

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Saturday is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, when the Drug Enforcement Administration encourages everyone to clean out …


Health and Wellness

BALTIMORE - This month marks the four-year anniversary of the #MeToo movement, and an art project aims to help incarcerated survivors heal by telling …

Social Issues

OGDEN, Utah - Utah is one of only a handful of states that taxes food, but one state legislator says taxing groceries should become a thing of the …


In a new poll, 71% of all registered voters support strengthening rules to reduce oil and gas methane pollution, including 73% of Independents and 50% of Republicans. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

CASPER, Wyo. - A strong majority of voters across party lines say they want national rules similar to those passed in Wyoming to reduce methane …

Health and Wellness

ARLINGTON, Va. - Although COVID-19 rates have gone down, the virus continues to hit the Hispanic community especially hard. Now, a new campaign aims …

Child-care advocates say if North Dakota doesn't boost funding for the system, more families might pull out of the workforce because of access issues. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

BISMARCK, N.D. - A portion of American Rescue Plan funding sent to North Dakota has yet to be divvied up. Groups that want to improve the child-care …

Social Issues

PITTSBURGH - As businesses across the country deal with a massive labor shortage, Pennsylvania aims to entice people back to the workplace by …

Environment

ALBANY, N.Y. - Environmental groups want Gov. Kathy Hochul to sign a bill that mandates monitoring the state's drinking water for "emerging …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021