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Government/Politics

Study Slams FirstEnergy Estimates For So-Called Coal Plant Bailout

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A new study is providing more ammunition for opponents against the so-called coal plant bailout proposed by two electric utilities. 

The report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis -- or IEEFA -- says FirstEnergy’s plan to guarantee a profit for their struggling coal plants would cost consumers $4 billion.

But FirstEnergy estimates their ratepayers would only see their electric bills go up a few dollars a month for a year or two because as natural gas prices rise, coal will be able to compete. IEEFA’s David Schlissel disagrees.

“Those are all fantasy. There’s no evidence that gas prices are going to rise dramatically over the long-term as FirstEnergy appears to say.”

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio is scheduled to have a ruling on the proposal by March.