The state has an interest, too. Restarting Century could bring the state $20 million in revenue per year.
Century CEO Michael Bless has said the idled smelter now costs the company about $5 million a year, and that it will take $90 million to restart it.
Which is contingent upon decisions that lie in the hands of state government.
Bless has said that if Century restarts, the company "will immediately pay millions of dollars for health care benefits for retirees . . . ."
But if the PSC gives special electric rates to
Century, it will be forcing residential customers and
other industrial power users to provide - at best - a no-interest loan to Century.
And if the state grants unemployment benefits to striking Steelworkers at Constellium, it will essen-tially be forcing other companies that pay into the fund to subsidize a strike.
West Virginians need to know how the state intends to use its power in the Century and Constellium cases.
Will it put its finger on the scale to help its allies in organized labor?
Will the state do that by shifting costs to residential power users, other industrial electricity users, and other companies that pay into the unemployment compensation fund?
The state should answer both questions promptly.
West Virginians go to the polls Nov. 6.