On the Blogs: FirstEnergy’s Double Standard FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Dennis Wamsted at WamstedOnEnergy:These two aging facilities—the Sammis plant’s newest unit is 45 years old while the oldest is 57; the Davis-Besse facility is 39 years old but it has a history of serious maintenance problems—have been battered by the drop in natural gas prices, the influx of new wind and solar generation, and the continued stagnation in overall electricity demand. The battering has been so bad that they essentially can’t compete in the current market, and FirstEnergy is asking state regulators to bail them out while hitting customers with new monthly charges that could run into the billions of dollars over the coming eight years.In its pleadings with the Ohio PUC, FirstEnergy has said the bailout is essential to keep the plants operating, and that the plants, in turn, are needed to maintain reliable, affordable electric supplies in the state—in other words, could I get a little re-regulation here, please.In defending the company’s proposal, Doug Colafella, a FirstEnergy spokesman, told the Toledo Blade: “We like to think of it as an insurance policy against volatility and the future uncertainty of the marketplace. It’s a concept we think will benefit customers because it considers the long-term volatility of the marketplace.”That doesn’t sound at all like the pro-competition track laid down by former CEO Alexander (Remember, “competitive markets, over time, will produce the lowest prices for customers.”) or the pro-competition testimony offered just months ago in Maryland regarding renewables (Remember, “competitive markets, not regulatory mandates, provide the most economical solution….”).Well, the competitive markets have spoken in Ohio (and the broader PJM territory in which FirstEnergy’s generating units operate), and Sammis and Davis-Besse simply can’t compete. This point was driven home by PJM itself in a recent report: “The simple fact that a generating facility cannot earn sufficient market revenue to cover its going-forward costs does not reasonably lead to the conclusion that wholesale markets are flawed,” PJM wrote. “More likely, it demonstrates that the generating facility is uneconomic.”It’s time for FirstEnergy to stand by its competitive mantra and close those two plants, not seek to soak its customers for billions for plants that are no longer economic.Full item: FirstEnergy Fails the Test on Utility Competition With Its Bailout Bid
Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:47Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:47 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenMonthly Core Index : April00:47Brisbane saw dwelling values rise 0.6 per cent in April, according to CoreLogic.BRISBANE has pulled a bigger monthly rise in capital gains than the two biggest capitals as more signs emerged of a slowdown in Sydney and Melbourne.Combined capital city dwelling values rose just 0.1 per cent in April, according to the latest CoreLogic Hedonic Home Value Index – the “slowest month-on-month growth conditions since December 2015”.Brisbane managed a rise of 0.6 per cent over the month, compared to 0.5 per cent out of Melbourne while Sydney flatlined. Sydney dwelling values flatlined in April but analysts expect more life out of there. Picture: Destination NSWBrisbane’s growth was strongest in areas within 20km radius of the city and “weaker in outer, more affordable areas like Logan and Ipswich even though they are much cheaper”, according to CoreLogic research head Tim Lawless.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home5 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor5 hours ago“The strongest demand is for detached houses with good access to the city. There has been a big split in the performance of units and houses. House prices have been increasing in some inner areas, but unit prices have been flat or falling.”The last time Sydney was this low was December 2015 when dwelling values fell 1.2 per cent, though not many analysts were keen to write off the past five years of Sydney’s meteoric rise (75.1 per cent) just yet.Mr Lawless was loath to call time on five years of capital growth in the two biggest capitals, preferring to wait and see if the monthly figures became a habit. CoreLogic research head Tim Lawless refuses to call time on Sydney’s meteoric capital gains just yet.“We need to be cautious in calling a peak in the market after only one month of soft results,” he said. “April, in particular, coincides with seasonal factors including Easter, school holidays and ANZAC DAY long weekend.”“The softer results should also be viewed against a backdrop of an ever evolving regulatory landscape which is firmly aimed at slowing investment and interest-only mortgage lending.”He said the highest cost of debt and stricter lending and servicing criteria had “likely dented investment demand over recent months”.“In a city like Sydney, where more than 50 per cent of new mortgage demand has been from investors, a tighter lending environment for investment purposes has the potential to impact housing demand more than other cities.”Even limping Sydney continues to sit head and shoulders above most capitals, with the three months to April seeing it pull a 4 per cent change in dwelling values, up 4 per cent, compared to Melbourne on 3.9 per cent and Brisbane on 0.5 per cent. Only Hobart had higher rise on 5.1 per cent.– With Aidan Devine
[This story has been updated. See below for details.]The Los Angeles Police Department has detained two suspects following a shooting that injured four people near the Ronald Tutor Campus Center at approximately 11:45 p.m. on Wednesday, according to campus authorities.A gunshot victim is loaded into an ambulance at the scene of Wednesday’s shooting. Four people sustained gunshot wounds and two suspects were later detained. Joseph Chen | Daily Trojan Only one of the four victims is in critical condition and as of approximately 2 a.m. was undergoing surgery at California Hospital Medical Center, according to LAPD. Three others were injured and immediately transported to California Hospital as well. Neither the suspects, whom LAPD identified as approximately 19-years-old, nor the victims were affiliated with USC.Classes across the university are scheduled to continue as normal Thursday. The shooting occurred about 100 yards from a Halloween costume party, “Freak or Greek,” which was held in the Ronald Tutor Campus Center’s ballroom. The event, which began at 9 p.m., was hosted by a USC student organization and LA Hype, a night life and entertainment group. The party drew a crowd of about 1,500, according to the Dept. of Public Safety.“We were waiting outside to get into the party, and we were waiting for a while — maybe 20 or 30 minutes,” said Olivia Gordon, a freshman majoring in psychology. “And all of the sudden, as soon as people started going inside, there were multiple gunshots and everyone who was in line for the party ducked and we all ran.”A confrontation occurred between two unidentified males, which led one to shoot the other, inadvertently injuring three others in the process, according to DPS Capt. David Carlisle. The intended victim was shot three to four times in the torso, according to LAPD Cmdr. Bob Green. The other three victims did not sustain life-threatening injuries.“I heard three gunshots … there might have been more than that,” said Christina Nour, a freshman majoring in civil engineering building science. “Then I ducked. It didn’t feel real. It felt like it was a movie because I really haven’t experienced anything like this before. I was running as fast as I can, trying to make sure I didn’t get trampled or tripped. I just ran as fast as I could, as far as I could.”Michael Jackson, vice president for student affairs, released a statement on the university’s website, saying DPS had been monitoring the area near the party. He also noted the importance of ensuring safety.“This incident reminds us that we must look out for ourselves and be particularly vigilant about the personal safety of friends and guests at our social events,” Jackson said.After the shooting, officers at the scene identified the shooter as well as an unidentified male who was fleeing the scene with him. Officers followed the two to Parking Lot 6 and detained them; they also retrieved the handgun used in the shooting from the ground at the lot.DPS issued a Trojan Alert at 12:02 a.m. on Thursday, asking students to take “shelter in place and avoid opening doors for unknown persons.” DPS and LAPD also immediately cordoned off the area near the shooting, including from Bovard Auditorium to Mudd Hall and from the Campus Center to the eastern edge of Hahn Plaza. The entire University Park Campus was locked down soon after.Despite the lockdown, LAPD said the event in the Campus Center continued even as the shooting and its aftermath unfolded outside.“Music continued to play, and they continued to party,” Green said.At approximately 2 a.m., DPS and LAPD opened the campus to students, faculty and staff with USC identification. The entire campus was reopened at 4:52 a.m.Asst. DPS Chief John Thomas said that the incident was not indicative of the overall level of safety in and around USC.“[USC has] a great partnership with the Los Angeles Police Department. We are one of the safest campuses in the country — we make sure that we have the necessary resources at the event, we do necessary planning and unfortunately [the shooting] happened outside,” he said. “These are individuals that unfortunately came here and decided to disrupt what otherwise would have been a very peaceful event, like all of our events on campus.”[Update #1: Victims recovering from Halloween shooting]Geno Hall, a former Crenshaw High School football star and 2009 L.A. City Football Player of the Year, was recovering from seven bullet wounds in critical but stable condition Thursday, the Los Angeles Times reported.Eugene Hall, Geno’s father, told the Times that his son was recovering from a three-hour surgery in the intensive care unit of California Hospital Medical Center. The younger Hall sustained bullet wounds to the left thigh, back of leg, buttocks and arm, according to his father.“The doc says he’ll pull through but they’re keeping him up there,” Eugene Hall told the Times.Geno Hall was the intended victim of the shooting that occurred outside the Ronald Tutor Campus Center late Wednesday night. Three others were also admitted to California Hospital with minor injuries. None of the victims or suspects were affiliated with the university, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.LAPD officials said they expect the other three victims to make a full recovery.[Update #2: President Nikias addresses Halloween shooting]In a statement posted Thursday, USC President C. L. Max Nikias addressed the shootings that occurred on campus and assured parents and students of USC’s continued safety.Nikias wrote that the individuals involved in the shooting were not affiliated with the university. USC’s policy allows student parties to be open to USC students and students from other colleges with a college ID.Nikias did, however, say that the university will review this policy in light of Wednesday’s incidents.“We are now carefully assessing and reviewing all of the university’s policies regarding visitors and events held on campus,” he wrote.He continued to say that USC is still a safe campus, calling the risk of on-campus crimes like the shooting “very low.”“I want to personally assure you that the university mobilized all its resources in responding to this incident, and worked closely with Los Angeles Police Department in ensuring our students’ safety,” Nikias wrote.Nikias also acknowledged safety concerns stemming from Wednesday’s shooting and other incidents, such as the off-campus shooting last year that killed international graduate students Ying Wu and Ming Qu.“All of us have been shaken by serious incidents this year,” Nikias wrote. “Despite these events, or indeed because of them, we must continue to support each other as members of the Trojan Family.”Joey Kaufman, Eddie Kim, Annalise Mantz, Daniel Rothberg and Yasmeen Serhan contributed to this report.