Critics blast proposed profit guarantee for FirstEnergy
A proposal that would provide a profit guarantee to FirstEnergy is costly, unnecessary and would set a terrible precedent, according to a coalition of businesses, environmental groups and others who today called on regulators to reject the deal.
The participants – including AARP Ohio, Sierra Club, Dynegy Inc. and others – said in a conference call with the media that the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio should reject the proposed settlement.
“This is par for the course for FirstEnergy,” said Shannon Fisk, an attorney for Earthjustice, which is the legal representative of the Sierra Club. “They just want to hide as much info as they can and just bully through the commission.”
Tensions are high following the release Monday of a proposed settlement between FirstEnergy, the PUCO staff and about a dozen other parties. The new plan calls for Akron-based FirstEnergy to receive an eight-year profit guarantee for certain power plants in exchange for agreeing to invest in clean energy and make other concessions.
The PUCO board is not bound by the staff’s proposal and can accept, reject or modify the plan following a review that likely will take a few months.