Harrisburg, PA – State Senator Kim Ward (R-39th) responded today to Governor Ed Rendell’s news release announcing his opposition to the proposed First Energy Corp. and Allegheny Energy Merger. In the release, Governor Rendell stated that he was directing the Department of Environmental Protection to submit a brief urging the Public Utility Commission to deny the application for merger.
“Governor Rendell announced today that the merger between Allegheny Energy and First Energy is a bad idea for the jobs in southwestern PA. I’ve been saying this for months, and it may be the first time since being elected that I have agreed with the Governor. However, it’s a little suspicious that the Governor has decided to weigh in seven months after the merger was announced and just as the evidentiary hearings are commencing. My hope is that he isn’t using these family sustaining jobs in order to get First Energy and Allegheny Power to agree to increase energy mandates. If these expensive mandates are insisted upon by Secretary Hanger, who is an intervenor in the merger, the ultimate result will be a greater loss of jobs and an increase to consumers in the form of higher electrical rates.” stated Ward.
“If this merger is destined to go through in lieu of all the opposition that continues to surface, I am imploring the P.U.C. to protect the jobs at the Allegheny Energy headquarters and hold First Energy accountable to their commitment to a Greensburg headquarters which they included in the filing papers for the merger.” She continued.