WASHINGTON, DC (August 2, 2013) – Today, David Foster, Executive Director of the BlueGreen Alliance released the following statement concerning FirstEnergy’s announced plans to close the Mitchell and Hatfield’s Ferry Power Stations in Pennsylvania:
“FirstEnergy’s precipitous announcement of its intention to close the Hatfield’s Ferry and Mitchell power stations is another reprehensible action in that company’s war on its workers and another black mark against a company already renowned for its poor corporate governance, disregard for its customers, and irresponsible energy management.
“High performing companies in the 21st Century are noteworthy for their engagement of external stakeholders, collaborative labor relations, and environmental sustainability. FirstEnergy is failing on all three counts.
“The company’s executive compensation practices have been criticized by external rating agencies such as Institutional Shareholder Services, which recently cited ‘a persistent pay-for-performance misalignment’ at FirstEnergy. Glass Lewis, another proxy advisory firm, gave FirstEnergy a failing grade on pay-for-performance issues over the last two years.
“Furthermore, the National Labor Relations Board recently charged FirstEnergy with unfair labor practices over its conduct at the Harrison Power Station in West Virginia, resulting in a $1.25 million back pay settlement for union workers there.
“And in Ohio, the company has attempted to undermine broadly popular energy efficiency mandates supported by a range of consumer and business groups, including the Ohio Manufacturers Association. These energy efficiency standards have driven down energy costs and improved the jobs and business climate in the state. The company has also opposed the construction of a large solar project – Turning Point – in Nobel County that would reconstitute 750 acres of reclaimed strip mine land and utilize 250,000 solar panels made in Ohio.
“FirstEnergy announced the closing of these two Pennsylvania facilities without having performed the necessary reliability studies. A responsible company would rescind the closure announcements, and sit down with its employees’ union, the Environmental Protection Agency, and state regulators to explore other alternatives to this rash decision.”