CHARLESTON, WV (LOOTPRESS) – The Public Service Commission is holding two public comment hearings on controversial cases involving Appalachian Power Company and Wheeling Power Company. Both hearings will be held via videoconference.
The first public comment hearing is for Case No. 20-1040-E-CN, the companies’ application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity for the internal modifications necessary to comply with federal environmental regulations at the Amos, Mountaineer, and Mitchell coal-fired generating plants. The hearing will begin at 9:30 a.m., Wednesday, June 2. The current public comment period is set to end that day as well.
This case has sparked the ire of such coal proponents as Friends of Coal, which has urged its members and supporters to object to the proposal which would effectively permit the early closure of the Mitchell plant in Marshall County.
Friends of Coal has intervened in this case to present its opposition.
At issue, according to information provided by the Friends group, is whether the Mitchell plant should close 12 years ahead of schedule.
If the PSC approves this proposal later this summer, the Friends say the decision will prematurely eliminate hundreds of coal mining and plant worker jobs as well as tens of millions of dollars of economic activity in the Northern Panhandle area.
“We are asking all Friends of Coal to stand up and be counted,” the organization said in a prepared statement.
Those wishing to comment can find the applicable form on the PSC Website.
“Let the PSC know that your job, a family member, friend, or neighbor’s job depends on keeping the plant operating through its full life cycle,” Friends urged. “Let them know your business or community relies on these mining and power plant.jobs. explain that coal-fired electricity is keeping our homes warm, our lights on, our virtual learning successful and our electric system secure and resilient.”
Directions for how to participate in the hearing itself will be posted on the Commission Website, www.psc.state.wv.us, under the Hot Topics section by May 27.
The hecond public comment hearing is for Case No. 20-1012-E-P, a petition for implementation of an experimental infrastructure investment tracker and surcharge. That hearing will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, June 8, 2021.
Those who want to make their thoughts known to the Commission but choose not to participate in a public comment hearing may send a letter to the Commission at 201 Brooks Street, Charleston, WV 25301 or they can submit a comment on the Commission’s Website.
“Providing opportunities to solicit input from customers and stakeholders and listening to the public is an important part of deciding cases,” said Public Service Commission Chairman Charlotte Lane. “The commissioners are truly interested in what the public thinks about these important issues and provides various opportunities to hear from all customers and parties.”
Additional information, including documents filed in both cases and the full procedural schedules, can be found on the Commission’s website.