Lawmakers OK tax break for struggling coal-fired power plant

Published: Jul. 23, 2019 at 2:22 PM EDT
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West Virginia lawmakers have overwhelmingly approved a bill to give a tax break to a struggling coal-fired power plant.

The Senate and the House of Delegates passed the measure Tuesday without much debate, sending it to the governor’s office.

The proposal would exempt FirstEnergy Solutions, which has been operating in bankruptcy, from a $12.5 million state tax. CEO John W. Judge says the company’s Pleasants Power Station in Willow Island will likely close in the next year if it has to continue paying the tax.

Local and state officials say the closure would devastate the local economy, coal producers and other industries.

Republican Gov. Jim Justice, who owns coal businesses, is pushing for the bill. He amended the special session call so the legislature could take up the proposal.