The State Journal reports that the winter cold forced many plants marked for EPA mandated closure to operate at high, sometimes full capacity. Officials say, however, that the law remains unchanged and that they will still close as scheduled.
Melissa McHenry, speaking for American Electric Power to the State Journal noted that 89 percent of the plants scheduled for closure had to run during the cold weather.
She went on to say that AEP is making investments in generation capacity to try and make up for what will be lost. McHenry also said that Washington regulators would need to help all power companies ensure that they could provide consistent power to customers during peak times.
After all, loss of power during very cold or very hot weather could harm their most vulnerable customers.
Added to the loss of jobs will come the higher cost of electricity. The Washington Examiner reports that an Obama Administration official predicts an 80 percent hike in the average electric bill to pay for EPA mandates. Although rates may eventually plateau, they are never expected to drop to current levels.
Bad news for those on fixed incomes and families already struggling in this economy.
American Electric Power plans to retire power generation plants in Mason and Kanawha County.