February 13, 2015 Read More →

Deal Gone Bad Hits Dozens of Midwest Cities

‘Bad Bet Traps Paducah in Coal-Fired Nightmare’ is the headline this morning over a blockbuster story in the Louisville Courier Journal that examines how Peabody Coal left the city on the hook for an expensive, underperforming electricity plant.

The article, by Jim Bruggers, is perhaps the most comprehensive to date on thePaducah Power System debacle, which has damaged the economies of dozens of cities by trapping them in costly, long-term electricity contracts.

Bruggers reports that bankruptcy for Paducah Power System remains an option in the eyes of some officials and that action is being taken or could be forthcoming in many other communities.

Excerpts:

  • “Dozens of other Midwestern communities and as many as 2.5 million people in states such as Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Michigan also bought into the dream and are facing rising power bills, according to Ohio-based Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, an environmental energy and policy group that has been researching Prairie State finances and its impact on communities.”
  • “One of the biggest problems has been the quality of the coal. The mine that supplies Prairie State has ‘the worst quality coal I’ve ever seen an analysis on in my 35 years in the coal plant industry,’ said Jeff Parsley, a former TVA executive and energy consultant.”
  • “Private Paducah attorney Mark Bryant said he’s been collecting as much information as he can and is talking with other lawyers across the country, trying to figure out some legal options for the community. Goode, the lumber business owner, said the “only way out is to get a lawsuit against Peabody. They knew better. That’s all you have to prove.”

Full article.

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