Follow us on Facebook or  Youtube   In God We Trust   -   Established 2008   -   (606) 638-0123   -   Contact Us   -   Best if viewed in Chrome Browser or IE9













Public Meeting on Big Sandy closure draws packed crowd, appeal for PSC to deny AEP application...

 

LOUISA, Ky. -- Closing the Big Sandy Power plant here would be devastating for the county. That's what speaker after speaker said Tuesday night during a Kentucky Public Service Commission Public Meeting at the Lawrence County Community Center.

Lawrence Countian Gary Allen asked some provoking questions but did not get answers.Lawrence Countian Gary Allen asked some provoking questions but did not get answers.But the main question seems to be would you rather pay more for your electricity in order to keep the Big Sandy plant burning coal, or would you rather have cheaper electricity that meets environmental code?

County attorney Mike Hogan was the driving force behind the effort to gather public comment against the closure of the local Big Sandy Power plant and purchasing power from a W.Va. company instead, which was the purpose of the Tuesday meeting which drew 167 mostly pro-coal visitors, not counting the state officials who were there.

Hogan said he did not know what effect the public's participation in the meeting will have. "I think we can get enough pressure on the PSC to stop this," Hogan said.

The meeting had two sessions, the first for questions and answers (See Lazer video on Lazer main page) and a session that was for statements only.

County Attorney Mike Hogan asked some pointed questions. (See Lazer New Videos section on main page)County Attorney Mike Hogan asked some pointed questions. (See Lazer New Videos section on main page)Public officials who spoke at the official session included State Representative Rocky Adkins, who told the two PSC officials who attended the meeting that coal is the lifeblood of the area and the closure of the Big Sandy Plant would cost Lawrence County $908,000 in franchise property tax dollars if the plant is shut down.  

School Supt. Mike Armstrong, whose family moved to Louisa to work at the plant in the early 1960's, said the loss of all school tax revenue would mean $468,000 less to operate the already financially fragile school system. Judge/Executive John Osborne said he expects the PSC to "act in favor of the people and the closure would surely hurt everything around here."

Adkins said legal action will likely be taken if the PSC approves Ky. Power's application to purchase it's coal from a Moundsville, W.Va. plant called the Simpson Plant that is already owned by Ky. Power's parent company, AEP. The Simpson Plant sells its power mostly to customers in Ohio which is a open market state. That means there are no franchise areas and customers can purchase their electricity from any company they decide to.

In Kentucky, which is a regulated state, customers have little choice in choosing where their utility comes from because in most cases there is only one. In Kentucky coal companies can charge customers whatever the market allows without much, if any regulation. Those costs are then passed on to the customer.

Former magistrate Gary Nelson had insightful questions for the PSC. TRMC CEO Greg Kiser is shown in the background (See Video)Former magistrate Gary Nelson had insightful questions for the PSC. TRMC CEO Greg Kiser is shown in the background (See Video)AEP has estimated that rates will raise by 31% if the scrubbers are added and Big Sandy left open and only 8% if they are allowed to sell from their W.Va. plant.

Adkins and others questioned those figures. He also asked what amount per month the number is based on and Robinson said the average customer in the 140,000 population area is $94 per month to which the crowd scoffed loudly. None of the attendees said their bills were that low.

Both plants are of similar age and capacity but the one in Moundsville had scrubbers in 2007, and the Big Sandy plant needs nearly $1 billion in scrubbers to continue operating the local plant because of recent action by the Environmental Protection Agency to lower pollution producing old power plants.

Ky. Power has already announced the retirement of a second plant on its property on Ky. 23 north of Louisa at the end of 2014. The PSC nor any other entity has the power to keep a company from closure, a PSC official who emceed the meeting said.

"This action allows AEP to turn its back on its 140,000 customers in our area and shift the financial benefits to Ohio where the headquarters is located," Hogan said.

Kentucky Power spokesperson Ronn Robinson attended the meeting but said he did not know the answers to many questions and was not authorized to speak on behalf of the company on those issues.

There was no representative from local or outside environmental groups at the meeting.

The full membership of the PSC will vote on the application later this month in Frankfort, so this will be the last chance local customers will have to speak out about their concerns.

Two more meetings are scheduled in the customer area at Whitesburg and Pikeville before the vote.

See several recent former Lazer stories on the subject or go to the PSC site and watch the speakers in action.

See Lazer video of the Q&A session on main page

See PSC video of formal questions and statements HERE

Comments  

 
#14 Mitt 2013-05-22 10:34
well how do you like obama now, serves you right for voting for him.
Quote
 
 
#13 Special Needs cut? 2013-05-20 17:46
Quoting from ashland:
Whats scary is if they do raise it 31% my mother will be with out electric.. Her bill now is close to $1000 a month and she cant afford that... Its all a load of crap.

Where does she live? In the Taj Mahal?
Quote
 
 
#12 intheknow 2013-05-18 19:43
Would you please stop posting really's comments? He doesn't have a clue what he is talking about.
Quote
 
 
#11 Citizen 2013-05-18 18:28
Gary Nelson had info about a less expensive way they could upgrade AEP's plant. I wish you would write a story about his information.
Quote
 
 
#10 Citizen 2013-05-18 18:22
From some of the comments above it shows you don't know the facts about the rate increase.. Call Rocky Adkins he can tell you. You didn't come to the meeting or you would know that 31 percent increase is FALSE. And 8 percent if we get our power from another plant isn't true either.. IT'S NOT SCARE TACTICS IT'S FACTS.. Call Rocky and ask him why he's for installing scrubbers.. He knows the facts.. AEP is trying to con the citizens of LC. If they buy 50 percent of the other plant our bills could go out of site.. Ohio power can jack our bills up and we can't do a thing about it..GET THE FACTS before you smart off on here.. And thats who will havecontrol of the rates we pay. not Wv. There's more to this than the average Joe knows..
Quote
 
 
#9 from ashland 2013-05-18 14:48
Whats scary is if they do raise it 31% my mother will be with out electric.. Her bill now is close to $1000 a month and she cant afford that... Its all a load of crap.
Quote
 
 
#8 really 2013-05-17 11:43
Also about property taxes going up to cover the loss off taxes paid by the plant, if that were true, then our taxes should have gone down when Wal-Mart came to town and started paying tons in taxes to Louisa and LC, along with the other new businesses in town. Your playing a fear game that won't work on anyone with common sense and some simple math skills. Once again simple math and common sense is what this is about. We can't afford the upgrade, it's that simple, unless you drive a new Cadillac, and even then you'd lose your car to pay your electric bill. AEP executives don't really have a choice, it's a business.
Quote
 
 
#7 really 2013-05-17 10:02
Quoting Citizen:
Another Viewer... Are you crazy... The only thing AEP has done for LC is tax dollars? What about the jobs??? If I had to guess your husband has been a successful businessman and has cut down many forest to build roads and malls... Your are sitting on a pile of money and don't care if your neighbor has food in his pantry or not...Just save a tree right?
AEP is on of LC's biggest tax sources. What will you think when our property taxes sky rocket even more than they are now? I know people that have had good paying jobs at AEP and on the railroad and in the coal mines. All these things tie in to AEP.
Exactly where are these mines that are hiring... NOWHERE... I saw where some mines are getting ready to open back up in Pike County...Thank GOD.. But 30 some jobs doesn't get 4000 coal miners back to work. It doesn't pay for their homes or their groceries...
If we lose AEP's Big Sandy Plant our county is going to be in a horrible financial situation. It's not just going to hurt the county it will hurt the schools and the library and the trickle down will hurt every business in Lawrence County.. Get real. I know it pollutes our environment but this world isn't going to stand forever. And AEP is just ONE of the polluters in our area. What about Ashland Oil, Calgon, the Nickle Plant, and on and on... I don't buy it... PLEASE SAVE AEP our County's future depends on it..

The world isn't going to stand forever, so just pollute and use the hell out of it is your way of doing things, what about your kids and their kids that will have to deal with all YOUR POLUTION, don't you care or are you brain dead from the chemicals??? Common sense and simple math, try to use it sometime. We simply cannot afford the increase in bills the upgrade will cost...
Quote
 
 
#6 really 2013-05-17 09:54
Quoting John Han[censored]:
There is absolutely no truth in the above article . The "massive" dam in horseford hollow is a settlement pond but it is in good shape and continually monitored for any leakage with embedded core access points . The water from the dam does go into blaine creek and is also monitored - tested with it being much cleaner than the creek water . The plant does not put anything into the river and the small amount coming out of the tall smokestack is 85% cleaner than it was when I went to work there , it is now a negligible amount . What you see for the most part is a product of how we treat the stack output before it comes out the stack . Bye the way the two large towers are for cooling water and produce no pollution whatsoever , what you see is only vapor from the falling water passing through the tower . There are a lot of misconceptions concerning a power plant , if you really want to know about it talk to someone who actually works at one and can explain the process , and don't get caught up in all the false rhetoric which is put out by some environmental groups just to further their cause - they are not interested in the truth and when exposed to it just dismiss it as big company bias and self interest . Most of these groups at their top levels are being manipulated for other reasons . There is good money in being professional protesters and they exploit many young people who have well intentions but just don't take the time to find the facts for themselves .

So your saying the plant hasn't put off any pollution over the last 40 yrs. There is NO way you can honestly believe that, and your biased anyway because you work for AEP...People can't afford an over 800 million $$ improvement to the plant, what don't you understand???
Quote
 
 
#5 really 2013-05-17 09:51
Look folks, people in LC cannot afford a 31% increase or a 21% increase in electric bills. The dam is along Blaine Creek and how do you know it's in good shape? People can't afford an increase in bills anyway, this is the "dead horse", and the ash dump is several acres with orange and red water on top of it, good shape isn't the definition I would use. AEP is a business and if they invest 800 million in the Big Sandy plant then who you think has to pay for it, it's simple math to most people including executives at AEP. The pollution it has put off is a MAJOR PROBLEM, and will continue to be for a long, long time...I've road 4-wheelers around the pollution and it covers acres, and acres of land that will NEVER be usable or cleanable in any way...Common sense is what you need if you think people want the higher bills that will break a lot of people that can't afford another dollar out of their budget and the pollution it's spewed of in the air, water, and land. Tons of waste are deposited along Blaine Creek and the Big Sandy River so they can't be in "good shape" and like I said how do you positively know the dam don't leak or it won't break. The water that comes off of power plant waste leaks in the river and the creek. So you people think we need HIGHER BILLS, and MORE POLLUTION??? Like I said it's simple math and common sense. LC will be just fine, but to you people that think a DOLLAR is more important than our wallets or health then I think you need math lessons and common sense training, I'll be glad to provide both...31%,21%, or any % increase is BAD, pollution in our water, air, and land is BAD...Coal will continued to be mined and LC will continue to haul it and export it, and new businesses can cover the power plants pollution tax dollars LC gets. We'll be better off as a county, and people will be able to pay their electric bills without the pollution costs to our great county...
Quote
 
 
#4 Citizen 2013-05-17 06:07
Another Viewer... Are you crazy... The only thing AEP has done for LC is tax dollars? What about the jobs??? If I had to guess your husband has been a successful businessman and has cut down many forest to build roads and malls... Your are sitting on a pile of money and don't care if your neighbor has food in his pantry or not...Just save a tree right?
AEP is on of LC's biggest tax sources. What will you think when our property taxes sky rocket even more than they are now? I know people that have had good paying jobs at AEP and on the railroad and in the coal mines. All these things tie in to AEP.
Exactly where are these mines that are hiring... NOWHERE... I saw where some mines are getting ready to open back up in Pike County...Thank GOD.. But 30 some jobs doesn't get 4000 coal miners back to work. It doesn't pay for their homes or their groceries...
If we lose AEP's Big Sandy Plant our county is going to be in a horrible financial situation. It's not just going to hurt the county it will hurt the schools and the library and the trickle down will hurt every business in Lawrence County.. Get real. I know it pollutes our environment but this world isn't going to stand forever. And AEP is just ONE of the polluters in our area. What about Ashland Oil, Calgon, the Nickle Plant, and on and on... I don't buy it... PLEASE SAVE AEP our County's future depends on it..
Quote
 
 
#3 John Hancock 2013-05-16 19:57
There is absolutely no truth in the above article . The "massive" dam in horseford hollow is a settlement pond but it is in good shape and continually monitored for any leakage with embedded core access points . The water from the dam does go into blaine creek and is also monitored - tested with it being much cleaner than the creek water . The plant does not put anything into the river and the small amount coming out of the tall smokestack is 85% cleaner than it was when I went to work there , it is now a negligible amount . What you see for the most part is a product of how we treat the stack output before it comes out the stack . Bye the way the two large towers are for cooling water and produce no pollution whatsoever , what you see is only vapor from the falling water passing through the tower . There are a lot of misconceptions concerning a power plant , if you really want to know about it talk to someone who actually works at one and can explain the process , and don't get caught up in all the false rhetoric which is put out by some environmental groups just to further their cause - they are not interested in the truth and when exposed to it just dismiss it as big company bias and self interest . Most of these groups at their top levels are being manipulated for other reasons . There is good money in being professional protesters and they exploit many young people who have well intentions but just don't take the time to find the facts for themselves .
Quote
 
 
#2 Jack handy 2013-05-16 19:42
Whoever wrote the above.... Sounds like you work for ky power.... probably making a good salary from them....instead of telling us to google it... why not provide direct link!!!...

I own a small business... I can't charge my customers extra when i lose, or break a tool,but they can....This Gov, and BIG MONEY want to make the poor poorer, and the rich filthy richer
Quote
 
 
#1 allaboutthe $ 2013-05-16 17:21
I believed that all along it's all about the money the election is over with now they don't need the people's vote since there boy did not win bush 1 signed the clean air act in 1990 told the power plant's to install scrubber's I don' believe they was going to install them all this time
Quote
 

Add comment

Security code
Refresh

Lazer Sponsor

1CartersAutoPartsCenter