Government Objects to FirstEnergy Deal

In a report on complex bankruptcy court proceedings, business reporter John Funk of the Cleveland Plain Dealer describes how FirstEnergy Solutions’ (FES) restructuring plan has hit a roadblock with federal agencies.

FES is the bankrupt affiliate of Akron-based FirstEnergy Corp. (FE). Total FES debt is about $3.6 billion according to the story. The company filed for bankruptcy protection one year ago and has fashioned a settlement with creditors. A growing army of federal and state agencies now says the settlement agreement violates the law.

“The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the federal bankruptcy court’s U.S. Trustee all have filed lengthy and strongly worded objections to a restructuring plan the company rolled out Tuesday. They also found the FES restructuring plan short on detail and silent on how much it would cost to clean up the environment if the coal and nuclear plants are closed,” according to the story.

“Federal attorneys for the NRC and U.S. EPA, working with lawyers for Ohio and Pennsylvania, argue that FirstEnergy itself has significant independent liability to the government under environmental laws. They contend that terms of the restructuring agreement that let FE off the hook are illegal.” 3/14/2019