PSC should approve mon power proposal - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

PSC should approve Mon Power proposal

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H. Wood Thrasher, President
The Thrasher Group
Clarksburg

As a Harrison County resident and businessman, I support Mon Power's proposal to acquire the 80 percent of Harrison Power Station it does not already own. This acquisition directly impacts the people and economy of north central West Virginia.

America's coal industry has been decimated by the EPA's policies against coal-fired power. Declining use of coal-fired generation negatively impacts our state's economy. When these plants close down, people lose jobs and communities lose opportunities. CONSOL's Robinson Run Mine supplied 90 percent of the coal that powered Harrison Power Plant in 2012. The mine employs nearly 400 employees, all of whom have families who depend upon the continued operation of the mine and the power plant. MonPower needs Harrison Power Station; in West Virginia, it is roughly 1,000 megawatts short of meeting its customers' needs. It purchases power on the open market to compensate for this shortfall. This sends our dollars out-of-state and could potentially result in volatile electric rates for consumers.

The clear win-win solution to these issues is for the Public Service Commission of West Virginia to approve the proposed acquisition. The acquisition will allow Mon Power to continue generating electricity with local employees using locally mined coal. The plant produces enough electricity to exceed demand, creating a surplus that can be sold back to the market and directly benefiting customers through lower rates.

The partnership between Robinson Run, Harrison Power Plant and MonPower is vital to the region's economy. I urge you to support the acquisition; jobs, families and communities depend on it.