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AEP, FirstEnergy Press Case to Keep Unprofitable Plants Open

  • Utilities say energy regulator should steer clear of dispute
  • Opponents say plan amounts to bailout of coal generators

American Electric Power Co. and FirstEnergy Corp. defended a plan to keep money-losing coal plants open in Ohio, which opponents say would disrupt the biggest U.S. power market and saddle customers with billions of dollars in extra costs.

The U.S. energy regulator should reject demands to intervene in the dispute, Columbus, Ohio-based American Electric said in a filing Tuesday with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Ohio lies within the region covered by PJM Interconnection LLC, the operator of the wholesale power market that extends from Washington to Chicago.