FRANKFORT, Ky. (WSAZ) – Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway announced Wednesday he has appealed the Public Service Commission’s decision that allows Kentucky Power to purchase a 50 percent interest in a West Virginia power plant instead of retrofitting the Big Sandy facility in Louisa, Kentucky.
The appeal filed in Franklin Circuit Court seeks to vacate and set aside the Commission’s findings on multiple legal grounds.
“The recent ruling by the Kentucky Public Service Commission approving this transaction will place more than a half a billion dollars into Kentucky Power’s rate base and will ultimately raise consumers’ electric rates by more than 20 percent,” General Conway said. “It will also transfer energy production to a neighboring state and leave Kentucky consumers paying the bill. That’s just not right.”
On October 7, the Kentucky PSC approved Kentucky Power’s proposal to purchase from Ohio Power, a 50 percent interest in the Mitchell Generating Station located in Moundsville, West Virginia at an estimated cost of $536 million.
In its findings, the PSC accepted Kentucky Power’s assertion that the Mitchell Plant acquisition was less costly than retrofitting Kentucky Power’s Big Sandy coal-fired unit with environmental controls.
In his appeal, Conway asserts that the findings of the Commission were unreasonable and unlawful because they relied on evidence presented by Kentucky Power and its corporate parent company that could not be independently verified.
“The Commission should seek additional, independent information, if it is going to raise electric rates for consumers and eliminate Kentucky jobs,” says Conway
In addition, General Conway asserts that the Commission failed to consider the economic feasibility of Kentucky Power’s plan and neglected the public policy interests of Kentucky, as expressed by the General Assembly.
General Conway points out that the General Assembly and Kentucky courts have held that the use of Kentucky coal and the continuation of jobs and other economic benefits constitute a legitimate government interest.