Curtis Tate Published

Pleasants Power Station Workers Say They’ll Testify To Save Plant

Steam rises from the two cooling towers at the Pleasants Power Station, with emissions from burning coal pouring out of a tall stack equipped with scrubbers.
The Pleasants Power Station in Pleasants County, West Virginia.
Janet Kunicki/West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A northern West Virginia power plant is scheduled to shut down at the end of May, but the plant’s employees have spoken in favor of preventing that.

Several dozen workers at the Pleasants Power Station in Pleasants County sent a letter to the West Virginia Public Service Commission.

The 44-year-old plant is slated for closure on May 31, but Mon Power is in the process of evaluating whether to purchase the facility.

Last year, the state’s consumer advocate recommended Mon Power and Potomac Edison consider buying Pleasants. The plant has a system that removes most of the nitrogen oxide from its emissions, giving it an advantage over Mon Power’s Fort Martin Power Station, which has weaker pollution controls.

In their letter to the commission, the employees wrote that they “respectfully disagree” with the opponents of purchasing the plant.

Ratepayers would likely bear the cost of purchasing and operating Pleasants.

“A purchase of Pleasants by the companies serves as one of the last remaining paths forward for the plant, and our effort to stave off the premature retirement of our facility,” the workers wrote.

Pleasants could have closed four years ago, but state lawmakers and Gov. Jim Justice gave it a $12 million tax break so it could stay open.

The employees told the PSC that they have prepared testimony in favor of saving the plant.