Charleston, W.Va. – Chris Hamilton, president and chief executive officer of the West Virginia Coal Association offers the following statement regarding the mining industry’s position on the West Virginia Public Service Commission’s hearing today to extend the lifespan of three American Electric Power coal-fired power plants.
“West Virginia’s mining industry fully supports the West Virginia Public Service Commission’s (WV PSC) August 14th decision that unconditionally approved AEP’s request to comply with federally mandated environmental requirements at the John Amos, Mountaineer and Mitchell coal-fired power plants and we fully support AEP’s request for full cost recovery.
As the WV PSC’s original order noted, the cost allocation for the upgrades may change depending on regulator decisions in other states but compared to replacing the coal plants with other generation sources or buying power from the wholesale market, upgrading the three generation facilities is still the least expensive option for West Virginia rate payers.
The John Amos, Mountaineer and Mitchell power plants account for 2,660 good paying jobs and nearly $2 billion in economic activity that supports our local and state economies.
Keeping the coal plants operational is not only the cheapest option for ratepayers, doing so retains thousands of jobs at the power plants, maintains significant sources of state and local tax revenue, keeps the local communities around these facilities vibrant, and sustains the coal mines, miners and hundreds of associated vendors that supply these plants with fuel.
Granting full cost recovery is consistent with the WV PSC’s original August 14 decision and is clearly in the best interest of our state and our citizens.”
For additional information, contact Chris Hamilton at (304) 342-4153.