CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The state Supreme Court was told Wednesday the transfer of ownership of the Harrison Power Station near Shinnston last year was about money not power-producing capacity.
The West Virginia Citizen Action Group is challenging an October ruling from the state Public Service Commission
CAG’s attorney Bill DePaulo argued the transfer, priced at $1.1 billion dollars, is nothing more than a way to help FirstEnergy recoup money lost during the company’s 2010 restructuring.
“There was enormous pressure from the top of the organization to fix their financial balance sheet problems by selling off the 80 percent interest in Harrison, owned by FirstEnergy,” according to DePaulo.
He said FirstEnergy marked up the price of the power station by $250 million and that money will come out of the pockets of Mon Power customers.
Mon Power attorney Carte Goodwin argued the case is not about money but about Mon Power needing more energy to meet customer needs.
“That price to acquire that asset, to fill that need, was reasonable to serve the public interest,” Goodwin told the court.
In his rebuttal, DePaulo argued it wasn’t reasonable.
“There’s no ambiguity about that. There’s no question it is, in fact, a mark-up. There is no question, in fact, they are pushing it down on the consumers,” stressed DePaulo. “And there’s no serious question it violates the stipulation in the prior case.”
The state Supreme Court will hand down a written decision later this year.