For Immediate Release
Brian Willis, 202.675.2386, Brian.Willis@sierraclub.org
With Coal Plant Retirements, FirstEnergy Solutions Should Concentrate on Treating Workers with Respect - Not Asking Trump for A Bailout
WASHINGTON - FirstEnergy Solutions notified PJM Interconnection, LLC (PJM) today that it plans to deactivate two uneconomic coal plants unless the Trump Administration forces taxpayers and electricity customer to spend billions of dollars to bail them out. The plants being considered for retirement have been uneconomic for years, as cleaner, cheaper competitors like solar, wind, and energy efficiency have taken their customers. Despite the marketplace’s rejection of these plants, however, FirstEnergy Solutions has repeatedly demanded bailouts from state and federal governments and have been rejected every time.
In response, Mary Anne Hitt, Senior Director of Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign released the following statement:
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“This announcement makes clear that these coal plants are old, dirty, and too expensive to operate in a competitive market, and that’s the reason why they should be retired. FirstEnergy Solutions’ primary objective at this point should be to treat their workers with the respect that they deserve and help them transition to new economic opportunities with dignity. They should not be asking the federal government to force taxpayers and electricity customers to spend tens of billions of dollars to bail out their old, expensive coal plants that can no longer compete in PJM’s marketplace.
“FirstEnergy Solutions could have planned for a responsible transition to clean energy, but instead they ran to the edge of a cliff in the hopes of receiving a coal bailout from their customers or Donald Trump, and in doing so they’ve left their workers in the lurch. The communities affected by these plants deserve clean air and opportunity, not to be treated like political pawns. It was FirstEnergy Solutions’ millionaire executives who got the company into this situation, and working families shouldn’t be the ones who pay the price for the company’s reckless failures of leadership.”
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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.