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FirstEnergy Solutions’ Bankruptcy is a Cautionary Tale for Utilities, Investors, and Public Officials

WASHINGTON - FirstEnergy Solutions (FES) -- together with its subsidiaries FirstEnergy Generation and FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company -- announced its bankruptcy last night after years of short-sighted business decisions and executive mismanagement that resisted investing in clean, renewable energy, and its workers. The company now has a serious obligation to protect its workers and their benefits from the bankruptcy process, as well as meet its environmental responsibilities  -- particularly if its coal and nuclear power plants are retired or sold.

FES has power plants in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Indiana. 

In response, Mary Anne Hitt, Director of Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign, released the following statement:

“FirstEnergy Solutions’ bankruptcy is a cautionary tale for utilities, investors, and public officials who think the coal and nuclear industries will somehow rebound in the coming years. They will not. America’s 21st century energy market demands cheap, flexible energy resources that can rapidly shift with electricity demands and don’t pollute local air and water. Coal and nuclear plants are too expensive and too dirty to compete in the modern market. 

“FirstEnergy Solutions is in bankruptcy because it continually ignored America’s shift to clean energy by investing in uneconomic coal and nuclear plants which have been losing money for years. Now it’s time for the company to accept its mistakes and concentrate on protecting its workers and their benefits during the bankruptcy process, while also meeting its environmental obligations -- particularly if its plants are decommissioned or sold. FES must do everything it can to help those being harmed by its negligent business practices and focus on transitioning them to new economic opportunities.”

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The Sierra Club is the oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization in the United States. It was founded on May 28, 1892 in San Francisco, California by the well-known conservationist and preservationist John Muir, who became its first president. The Sierra Club has hundreds of thousands of members in chapters located throughout the US, and is affiliated with Sierra Club Canada.

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