Statement Opposing Pleasants Power Station Boondoggle
In 2013, the League of Women Voters of West Virginia opposed Mon Power and Potomac Edison’s proposed purchase of 80% of the Harrison power plant. At that time we sent a clear message to the West Virginia Public Service Commission:
Customers should not be forced to pay for a purchase that will raise the costs of their electricity. Furthermore the purchase of the Harrison power plant would lock in costs for many generations, so that better alternatives would be precluded.
Rather than paying for the high costs of the Harrison power plant, Mon Power and Potomac Edison could bid for cheaper power from other sources and install more energy efficiency into its production. Also they could lessen demand by aiding customers in energy efficiency means as many power companies have done. All would result in smaller energy costs to ratepayers.
Once again, we are confronted with a similar situation, this time involving the purchase of the Pleasants Power Station that is currently operating in a deregulated electricity market where it is struggling to compete against less expensive power sources. The League firmly opposes this new attempt by FirstEnergy Corp. to offload this plant to our regulated market because of debt the company has acquired due to its own lack of foresight in the transitioning energy markets.
The state of West Virginia is a net exporter of electricity, providing almost 5% of the nation’s total energy, largely because of its coal production. However, many states receiving our electricity from the grid are phasing out coal generated electricity. It is time that West Virginia does the same. Even as this statement is being written, a massive iceberg the size of Delaware is very close to breaking free from Antarctica, due to a huge, widening crack in the 10,000 year-old Larsen ice shelf.
The financial costs for West Virginians from climate change will vastly exceed any profits for FirstEnergy Corp. shareholders. Switching the power station’s financial risks from stockholders to ratepayers will not benefit the people of West Virginia, and in the final analysis they will be the net losers.
Therefore, we ask the Public Service Commission not to approve passing the costs from FirstEnergy’s own boondoggle to the ratepayers of West Virginia
The League supports predominant reliance on renewable resources. We are co-sponsoring this upcoming event and want to encourage you to attend. Please remember the Civic Engagement Workshop is the next day on Thursday!:
The North Central West Virginia Solar Co-Op is launching! Check out the first informational meeting to find out how you can get involved and save money on your energy bill! The meeting will be held at the Morgantown Public Library, Wednesday July 27th, 6 pm.
The response to the first Morgantown Solar Co-Op was substantial. Over 100 people signed up for roof reviews and 24 installations were completed. These installations represent 141 kW of new installed solar capacity, which is approximately 7% of the total installed solar capacity in West Virginia.
Synopsis: Sean O’Leary speaks on a topic of current concern to the League: a serious decline of public discourse in West Virginia. “Words Unhinged from Facts: The Silly Things Our Leaders Say That We Believe”, he calls it, and offers many examples. He uses issues such as the fracking boom, the state budget deficit, the “war on coal,” and economic policies to show how leaders in West Virginia regularly make patently false assertions without being challenged or questioned by the media.
Filmed by Nancy Jamison with a tablet at the Morgantown-Monongalia Annual Meeting on May 14, 2014. Video clips were later transferred and then assembled with OpenShot by Jonathan Rosenbaum (720p/5mb or higher bitrate versions available by request).
West Virginia at the Crossroads: EPA’s New Carbon Limits and What They Mean for West Virginia
Free public education forum on Tuesday, July 15 at 7:00pm Room G-102, WVU Engineering Science Building (East)
Sponsored by the Monongahela Group of the WV Sierra Club, WVU Sierra Student Coalition, and League of Women Voters of Morgantown-Monongalia
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently took historic action to protect our climate by issuing the first-ever guidelines to reduce carbon dioxide pollution—the chief cause of climate change—from electric power plants.
Join us on Tuesday, July 15 at 7:00pm for an educational forum to update citizens about the new guidelines and what they mean for West Virginia. Professor James Van Nostrand of the WVU College of Law and Director of the Center for Energy and Sustainable Development, Mary Anne Hitt of Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign, and Randy Francisco of Sierra Club’s Coal to Clean Energy Campaign in Pennsylvania will offer an overview and analysis of the proposed rules and discuss their importance to West Virginia. A Sierra Club representative will discuss actions people can take to voice their opinions, including a chance to attend an EPA public hearing on the proposed rule in Pittsburgh on July 31.
Event Location: Room G-102, Engineering Science Building (East), on West Virginia University’s Evansdale Campus, July 15th at 7:00pm.
Directions to G-102 Engineering Science Building from downtown Morgantown: from Beechurst Ave/Monongahela Blvd. turn right into the WVU Evansdale Campus (near the Creative Arts Center) onto Evansdale Drive, and pass the CAC which will be on your left. Keep to your right until you get to the “Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources,” on the left. Enter through the main doors, walk straight through the lobby toward “Ground Floor Classrooms.” Room G-102 is straight ahead.
Parking: WVU Parking Lot 40 (in front of & across the street from the bldg.) usually has free parking after 5:00pm. The WVU Short Term Paid Parking Lot is located a couple hundred yards past the “Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering & Mineral Resources” building, on the right. Park free in the WVU Coliseum parking lot after 5:00pm.
Contact: Nancy Novak, President,
League of Women Voters of West Virginia
The chemical spill into the Elk River warns all of us that we should not sit idly by, believing our drinking water supplies are protected from contaminants. “The League of Women Voters of West Virginia urges everyone to become informed about their drinking water sources,” said president Nancy Novak.
The Safe Drinking Water Act includes a Source Water Assessment and Protection (SWAP) Program. Water companies are supposed to develop a SWAP program that includes potential contaminant threats to drinking water sources and assess whether it is likely that the source water can become contaminated. Communities can follow up with management plans that will protect their source waters and contingency plans on how to respond to accidents.
The Elk River accident points out several major problems – the lack of inspections of the Freedom Industries facility, Freedom’s tardiness in informing the water company of the leak, West Virginia American Water Company’s lack of knowledge of the contaminant’s potential harm, and the lack of a community plan to protect the drinking water sources.
Unfortunately many of the SWAP programs are out-of-date all around West Virginia. In most cases a community plan has not been prepared to prevent drinking water disasters. It is difficult or impossible to find water companies’ SWAP programs on the internet. The Elk River chemical spill should trigger all of us to demand an update of our SWAP programs as well as community planning for the protection of our drinking water sources.
More information about the SWAP program can be accessed at the West Virginia Bureau for Public Health Office of Environmental Health Services Environmental Engineering Division, online at http://www.wvdhhr.org/oehs/eed/swap/.
The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization that works to inform the public of important governmental issues and encourages citizens to participate in determining public policy.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 18, 2013
Contact: Nancy Novak
LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OPPOSE SALE OF HARRISON POWER PLANT
The League of Women Voters of West Virginia announced today it opposes the sale of the Harrison power plant to Mon Power. In a vote by the state board of directors, the League supported the appeal to the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals by the West Virginia Citizen Action Group. WVCAG is asking that the approval by the West Virginia Public Service Commission of Mon Power’s purchase of the Harrison power plant be vacated because the sale violates state law and because it will increase electric rates for West Virginia taxpayers.
By transferring the Harrison power plant to a WV Public Service Commission regulated plant, Mon Power will be guaranteed that its costs will be borne by ratepayers rather than having to compete in the market. The cost of the Harrison plant included a mark up by the owner, First Energy.
The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization that encourages participation of citizens in government and works to influence public policy through education and advocacy.
Mr. Donald Supcoe
Executive Vice President & General Counsel
Energy Corporation of America
501 56th Street Charleston, WV 25304
Dear Mr. Supcoe:
I am writing for the Board of the League of Women Voters of Morgantown-Monongalia to give you our reasons for being against the installation of an ECA Class II wastewater injection well near Masontown, WV and near Deckers Creek.
We have read the letter written to you on July 30 2013 by Elizabeth Wiles of Friends of Deckers Creek.
We have studied her materials and arguments, and seen maps and pictures of the location of your possible installation. We are concerned for two main reasons.
First, Deckers Creek is in the watershed of the Monongahela River. This is of great concern to those of us in Morgantown and Monongalia County, since the Monongahela is the source of our drinking water as well as important for recreation. Clean water, and therefore a clean watershed,is a goal of the League of Women Voters.
We have been studying hydraulic fracturing and the fluids used in, and retrieved from, the process.
We have also learned about the mishaps in hydraulic fracturing nationwide. Accidents happen, seepage happens, leaking happens. Having the possibility of accidents and the leaking of this hazardous water into Deckers Creek would endanger the water quality of the watershed.
Second, Deckers Creek and the Deckers Creek trail are a relatively new and wonderful recreation area. Many people from Monongalia County have been walking, running and biking on the trail for many years. The 8 million dollars spent on restoring the water in the creek, and the additional funding for the building of the trail , are a public investment that is treasured by the people. Having large trucks and the noise of an industrial site near the trail and the threat of undoing the reclaiming of the creek will jeopardize the beauty of all that has been done.
WE FEEL THAT THE INJECTION WELL WOULD BE TOO CLOSE TO DECKERS CREEK AND THE DECKERS CREEK TRAIL. If West Virginia is to promote hydraulic fracturing for gas, then companies must be extra careful to protect the water and all public recreation sites.
We oppose the development of an injection well at this site.
Catherine Lozier, Chair of Natural Resources Committee
League of Women Voters of Morgantown-Monongalia County