Regulatory Costs Prompt FirstEnergy to Shut Down Coal Power Plants

FirstEnergy (NYSE: FE  ) announced today that it plans to retire two coal-fired Pennsylvania power plants by the end of October.

A combination of low electricity prices and high costs to meet environmental regulations has pushed the utility to action, shuttering the equivalent of 2,080 MW at the two plants, representing around 10% of FirstEnergy's total generation capacity. According to the company's press release, these two plants would have required around $280 million in environmental compliance costs, or around 30% of FirstEnergy's total estimated spending to comply with the Environmental Protection Agency's Mercury and Air Toxics Standards.

About 380 plant employees and generation-related positions are expected to be affected. The company announced the deactivation of nine plants last year.

Looking ahead, the company notes that the deactivation of these two plants will ensure that "nearly 100 percent" of FirstEnergy's electricity originates from low- or non-carbon emitting sources. Its new generation mix will be 56% coal ("clean coal" scrubbed units), 22% nuclear, 13% renewables, and 9% gas/oil.


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  • Report this Comment On July 09, 2013, at 4:36 PM, LegalizeMe wrote:

    Cause: EPA passes more unnecessary regulations.


    Effect: 380 people are now without jobs.

    And here I thought we wanted to expand our economy and create more jobs. The administration must have other plans.

  • Report this Comment On July 09, 2013, at 6:23 PM, jdp245 wrote:

    Unnecessary regulations? Sure, if you ignore the studies that have shown that mercury emissions have caused build-ups of mercury in 12% of women of childbearing ages that are so high that they could lead to reduction of IQ and motor skills in their children. Maybe, if you ignore the studies that show that the new standards will avoid 11,000 deaths a year, 540,000 days of missed work a year, and $40 - $90 billion in healthcare costs a year. Perhaps, if you think the DC Circuit Court of Appeals was off their rocker when they ruled in 2008 that the EPA had illegally violated the Clean Air Act by failing to regulate pollutants released by power plants.

    If you are going to argue against the regulations, at least come armed with some facts instead of regurgitating the senseless bile that is spewed at you on Fox News. Try to do some thinking for yourself.

  • Report this Comment On July 09, 2013, at 6:29 PM, tigerade wrote:

    Coal is a killer. It kills miners, it kills children, it kills the elderly. It kills millions per year. It's less ethical than tobacco. Humanity must ditch coal.

  • Report this Comment On July 09, 2013, at 7:02 PM, 0hiding0behind0 wrote:

    tigerade, you forgot "coal kills puppies"


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