Yesterday, the EPA issued new standards to cut downwind air pollution coming from coal-fired power plants. Instead of Mikey embarrassing himself doing another press spectacle whining about plant closures, it looks like AEP quickly shoved him into their popemobile and trundled him off to the Scioto Mile where he could smile and wave and turn on the fountain.
AEP's new plan is to have the underlings do the fear mongering. Pat Hemlepp and his 30% rate hike isn't the only stooge still running around doing AEP's chicken little routine. The affiliate company presidents are all doing it. That way, when the press dig up those Mikey quotes that show him giving a different rendition of facts to AEP's investors, the stooges can pretend they don't know anything about it. It's pretty hard to deny when you're caught talking out of both sides of your mouth, isn't it, Mikey? That's what underlings are for! Honestly, AEP needs to stop their sniveling and get busy cleaning up their plants.
The "30% rate hike" is just a number that AEP has pulled out of their... hat. They've been tossing a whole bunch of rate hike percentages out... and none of them are consistent or backed up by any hard facts. When I went looking for hard facts, it turned out that expected rate hikes are more in the neighborhood of $3 - $4 per month for the average customer. That small amount of change is a small price to pay for cleaner air. Customers have lately seen bigger increases simply because of the cost of coal, so it's all relative.
Duke Energy says that they've spent the last 10 years cleaning up their plants so the new rules won't be a problem for them. AEP has spent the last ten years and billions of dollars trying to influence the rules. AEP is grossly mismanaged and their customers are the ones who are going to pay for their lack of planning.