Challenges on Several Fronts to Ohio Utility Bailouts

first_imgChallenges on Several Fronts to Ohio Utility Bailouts FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Kathiann M. Kowalski for Midwest Energy News:Despite unanimous approval by Ohio regulators last week, opponents of income guarantees for two utilities’ power plants still have multiple avenues to challenge the plans.The deals, involving certain coal plants and a nuclear plant owned by FirstEnergy and American Electric Power (AEP),  are expected to trigger requests for rehearing and court appeals.Also, litigation by the utility affiliates’ competitors is proceeding before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Others challengers are involved in those cases too.Both AEP and FirstEnergy have argued that the power purchase agreements are necessary and will save consumers money in the long term.Critics call the deals “bailouts” to prop up uncompetitive power plants and say they will cost Ohioans billions of dollars over the next eight years. They also argue that the plans interfere with customer choice and competition in the generation market.The Electric Power Supply Association, Dynegy and other organizations and companies already have cases underway at FERC that aim to have federal regulators review and prevent the AEP and FirstEnergy power purchase agreements from taking effect.Challengers also have a potential argument under Ohio’s law mandating competition in the electricity generation market. Under that law, passed in 1999, a distribution utility generally cannot favor its own affiliates.As a general rule, most cases involving long-term power purchase agreements for electricity use them to lock in a price for the energy’s end users.Under AEP and FirstEnergy’s plans, however, electricity purchased from their unregulated generation affiliates will not go directly to their utilities’ non-shopping customers. Instead, both FirstEnergy and AEP have said that they intend to resell the electricity into the wholesale market for the grid managed by PJM.The Office of the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel (OCC), various local governments and others have moved to intervene in one or more of the FERC cases.Approval of the deals “could distort market clearing prices, resulting in unjust and unreasonable rates in PJM’s markets,” said OCC in one of its briefs.Another argument will likely focus on the magnitude of customers’ potential losses.Challengers also have a potential argument under Ohio’s law mandating competition in the electricity generation market. Under that law, passed in 1999, a distribution utility generally cannot favor its own affiliates.“These affiliate agreements that insulate the shareholders of the parent corporation from any risk blur the lines of corporate separation — which is the cornerstone protection of Ohio’s customer-choice centered energy policy,” said Dougherty.“In a certain sense, it’s ironic in that a lot of the rhetoric around ‘freezing’ [Ohio’s] renewable energy and energy efficiency standards was based on not wanting the government to mandate certain technologies, whereas the PUCO ruling is locking customers into uneconomic coal plants,” said Cathy Kunkel, an analyst for the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.“But, in reality” Kunkel continued, “both the recent PUCO ruling and the freezing of the standards were part of the same strategy on the part of Ohio’s main utilities, particularly FirstEnergy, to reduce competition to their own generation.”Full article: ‘This isn’t over’: Opponents still fighting Ohio ‘bailout’ planslast_img read more

Repeat Stock Car win for Smith at Algona

first_imgBy Greg Grabianowski ALGONA, Iowa (May 3) – David Smith took the lead with three laps left and drove to his second straight IMCA Sunoco Stock Car feature win Saturday night at Algona Raceway. Pole starter David Wickman was the early leader before John Wiemann grabbed the lead on lap three.A four-car breakaway and door-to-door battle by David Smith, Kevin Opheim, Derek Green and Wiemann ensued until with three laps to go, Smith took the lead and went onto the victory for the second straight week. The 10th starting Green ended up second with Wiemann taking third, Opheim fourth and Devin Smith fifth. Clay Evans on the pole never gave up the top spot in the Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMod main. Jer­emy Wegner was the fourth and final leader in the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock feature, passing Aus­tin Hauswirth on the final circuit.Mike Jergens got the IMCA Xtreme Motor Sports Modified feature victory after post-race disqualifica­tion of the apparent winner. Nate Coopman earned his second local feature win of the season after starting on the outside of row four in the Mach-1 Sport Compact feature.last_img read more

Mourinho puts the pressure on

first_img The 50-year-old Portuguese won two titles during his first spell in charge at Stamford Bridge and returned last summer following a six-year gap. The Blues are currently second in the table, four points adrift of leaders Arsenal, and Mourinho will not hesitate asking more from players he feels can handle being pushed mentally to benefit themselves and the team. Jose Mourinho has no qualms about heaping pressure onto his own players to turn his Chelsea side into Barclays Premier League champions once again. “I like to put pressure on them,” Mourinho said. “But you have to analyse the players you are working with. I always give Didier [Drogba] as an example – when I put real pressure on him, the animal was always coming from the dark. “[Zlatan] Ibrahimovic at Inter, exactly the same. When I put real pressure on him, I knew that the answer was coming. It depends on the players’ profiles. Some react in a very good way. Some don’t.” With so many personalities within a squad, Mourinho concedes it is unlikely all players will react positively to such pressures and prefer to be handled with kid gloves. “I have also players who have told me not to criticise them in front of the other guys because ‘it’s not good for my self-esteem’,” he added. “I’ve had everything. You accumulate experiences in your career and everything becomes like deja vu. Nothing is new. Human qualities come through: you know some react well under pressure, and others you give them confidence and wait until the best performances arrive.” Chelsea’s backbone, the likes of John Terry and Frank Lampard, are players who have been at the club under Mourinho during both of his spells and are an English duo who the former Real Madrid boss has the utmost confidence in. But Mourinho has a young squad this time around and he feels more is to come in terms of mental toughness from his highly-rated prospects. “Some players I know them very, very well. Others I’m getting to know now,” he said. “Some, because of their age, I think their personalities are not still an end product. They can still transform their personality. “When it comes to the young players, I have a job to do. I have to try and influence their way of feeling football, of feeling their jobs. I think they can help them. This is a job to do not in a few months. Hopefully I can get the best out of all of them. “It is a good part of our job, these human factors. Football management is not just about 4-4-2, 4-3-3, high block, low block. We have a human side of the job, too, and probably this is more important.” Despite Mourinho not worrying about adding pressure to his own players, it appears as though he is trying to shift any expectations from Stamford Bridge and on to Manchester City. Although he anticipates a six-way fight for the title, with Manchester United, Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool also involved, it is City who Mourinho feels need to make the most of what he labelled as a ‘unique’ squad. “They don’t have old players or very young players,” Mourinho said of Man City’s squad. “You see all of them, players with big maturity and experience. [Sergio] Aguero, [Edin] Dzeko, [Alvaro] Negredo, even [Stevan] Jovetic – these are the four strikers. “Go through the positions and you see Yaya Toure, Fernandinho – nobody more than 30, all of them. Nobody below 23. The squad is absolutely amazing. “They have solutions and solutions and solutions. If you ask me which team has more ammunition, I have to try and be honest. I have to apologise to the other four in case they’re not happy with what I say, but City are the team with more ammunition.” With such strong views on the ability at the disposal of his counterpart Manuel Pellegrini at the Etihad Stadium, Mourinho will be pleased to see his Chelsea side currently one place and two points ahead of City. Press Associationlast_img read more

Luke Heimlich signs with club in Mexico, report says; MLB clubs passed on sex offender

first_imgMORE: Most heinous crimes connected to athletesHeimlich, 23, pleaded guilty in 2012 to sexually molesting a niece when she was 6 and he was 15. Heimlich later claimed he was innocent but was advised by his lawyer to plead guilty anyway. As part of his sentencing, he was ordered to register as a sex offender in Oregon.The Oregonian’s reporting of the crime in 2017 led to him going undrafted twice: All 30 clubs passed on him in 2017 and 2018. The Royals considered signing him as a free agent after the 2018 draft but ultimately passed. Luke Heimlich is again leaving the U.S. for an opportunity to pitch.The former Oregon State ace has signed with the Mexican League’s Tecolotes de los Dos Laredos, ESPN.com reported Wednesday. He signed with a team in China last year but the league terminated the contract a week later, citing Heimlich’s criminal history. ESPN’s reported that scouts who watched him throw recently believe Heimlich can pitch in the major leagues this year.The Mexican League season begins April 4, ESPN reported.This article has been corrected to show that Heimlich pleaded guilty to one count of molesting his niece.last_img read more