‘Will rates go up? Of course they will’: The impact of Mitchell Power Plant closure

Inside West Virginia Politics

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — On Inside West Virginia Politics, U.S. Rep. David McKinley (R-WV) from West Virginia’s 1st District visited Charleston to testify before the Public Service Commission regarding the potential closure of the Mitchell Power Plant in Marshall County. At this time, there are two options: shut down in 2028 or shut down in 2040. 

McKinley says things to be considered before closures are its economic effects for that area and National security. 

“Is the issue of what effect is that going to have, the closure of the Mitchell power plant,” said McKinley. “We don’t have a replication of what happened down in Texas when they lost power for weeks on end.” 

According to McKinley, the market that controls electricity on the east coast is called PJM. PJM only has about 10% of its power grid in renewable energy. West Virginia is in the process of making a transition over to renewable energies. “We want to make sure that during this transition period of time, plants like Mitchell will still stay operational,” said McKinley.

The critics of the plant remaining open say this is going to be paid for by the ratepayers. “Will rates go up? Of course they will,” says McKinley. “It pales in comparison to people’s lost income, their lost jobs. The uncertainty of their future if plants close down. We’re talking about, at a power plant, maybe it’s only 200 jobs. It’s the railroad workers, the dock workers. They only have an impact on how we’re going to operate that, I think it pales in comparison to a miner rate increase to what we’re talking about, people’s lives.”

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