‘Sloppy’ hockey is the name of the game early in NHL season

first_imgNo exhibition games and for some teams no action at all for 10 months has made for a sloppy start to the NHL season. It’s plenty entertaining with all the odd-man rushes and goals, even if the hockey resembles junior or college games more than the pros. Teams have shuffled their lineups more early because of injuries and protocols. That has led to less continuity and more mistakes and penalties all over the ice. But goaltenders have also stepped up and shaken off the rust quicker to keep from every game being an offensive explosion.last_img

In Ohio, Utility Company That Argues for Bailout Is Blinded by ‘Willful Refusal to Face the Facts’

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Jon Chavez for the Toledo Blade:FirstEnergy remains firm that the plan, while raising customers’ bills in the first few years, eventually will save customers about $560 million by the time it expires.Opponents, who have been increasing steadily and now includes consumer advocates, FirstEnergy competitors, large Ohio manufacturers, consumer groups, and environmental organizations such as the Sierra Club, insist the plan won’t save customers money but rather will cost them between $3 billion to $4 billion by 2024.FirstEnergy, the opponents contend, will keep charging the fee for eight years because the four plants will remain uncompetitive by using high-cost fuel to make electricity.The difference in whether the plan would cost or save customers money is based on projections of whether the wholesale prices of electricity will stay low or soar in the next eight years.If they stay low, the opponents say FirstEnergy will have taxpayers subsidizing its aging, noncompetitive plants. If the prices rise, the owner of Toledo Edison says customers will save money.The PUCO has not put the plan on its agenda to make a decision. The panel meets each week.FirstEnergy has asked for a decision by the end of March because that is when it readies for a power auction at which it purchases power for the summer months.In the meantime, both sides are taking their cases to the public.The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, a Cleveland group that favors transition to greener energy sources, issued a report last week that says the plan will cost consumers $4 billion, essentially backing what the public watchdog agency, the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel, has said.David Schlissel, an energy analyst and co-author of that study, said, “We’re looking at the facts, but FirstEnergy sees these facts and their plan is to avoid them.”Utility executives are insisting that the four plants will become more competitive as environmental regulations and other factors drive up power prices over the length of the plan. FirstEnergy contends that mandates for cleaner energy, a drop in oil prices, abundance of natural gas leading to the digging of fewer wells, and rapidly changing technology likely will lead to a volatile energy market over the next decade.“We do continue to project that power prices are going to rise in the years ahead,” said Doug Colafella, a FirstEnergy spokesman. “We stand firm in our projections.”FirstEnergy maintains that energy volatility, should it occur, would make power generated by 40-year-old Davis-Besse and 56-year-old Sammis plant more economical.However, Mr. Schlissel said the argument is a red herring.The report indicates that abundant natural gas from shale in Appalachia and elsewhere is pushing energy prices down as more electricity is generated by gas-fired plants. Also, renewable wind and solar energy generation is increasing, and the Great Recession stymied economic growth and energy demand for the foreseeable future.Mr. Schlissel said natural gas prices have gone down, helping to lower electricity generation prices. He said of the utility, “They see it going way high. But it’s a fantasy or willful refusal to face the facts.”New projections, he said, say natural gas will stay at $2 per 1,000 cubic feet through 2018 and that is going to keep coal and nuclear plants unable to compete cost-wise with cheaper natural gas-generated electricity. “Instead,” he added, “they’re looking for a way to shift the cost to customers.”Full article: TV ads duel over power rate proposal In Ohio, Utility Company That Argues for Bailout Is Blinded by ‘Willful Refusal to Face the Facts’last_img read more