EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSCENTURY ALUMINUM UPDATE
from Eyewitness News Online
Still No Deal Between Century Aluminum & A.E.P.
Reported by: Dave Benton
Web Producer: Dave Benton
Reported: May. 20, 2012 10:44 PM EDT
Updated: May. 20, 2012 11:17 PM EDT
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
Recently, Governor Tomblin signed a bill into law creating a tax credit that would lower utility rates Century Aluminum would have to pay American Electric Power. It was a moment retirees' families and workers waited for. But the plant and power company couldn't come to an agreement.
Karen Gorrell's husband is a retiree and said, "My first reaction is shock, then anger. We were forced to get our part done first."
Workers and retirees staged informational pickets for several months, even though the Governor stepped in, the two parties couldn't agree on a special rate. Workers say this snag could mean they'll have to wait till the end of the year to go back to work or for retirees to get their benefits.
A spokesperson for AEP says Century Aluminum wanted to pay a utility rate based on the aluminum market. When the market is up, they'd pay more for power, when it's down they'd pay less. But AEP says, at times when they would receive less money from Century, the only way to make up the loss, would be to raise the rates of everyone else, and that wouldn't be fair.
Now, it's in the hands of the Public Service Commission to set the rate. They released a statement that said, "The PSC was disappointed that the parties could not reach an agreement. The failure to reach an agreement leaves the Commission with the obligation to determine whether or what type of rate recovery is appropriate.
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