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2 coal-fired plants in SW Pa. to close next week

MONONGAHELA, Pa. (AP) -- FirstEnergy Corp. says it will close two coal-fired power plants in southwestern Pennsylvania as scheduled next week with no expectations that they will be sold or reopened under stricter environmental regulations.

Company president James Lash told state House members Thursday that no potential buyers have come forward for the Mitchell Power Station in Washington County or the Hatfield's Ferry Power Station in Greene County.

He said the company has made job offers within its system to 140 of 175 union workers affected.

The company has cited weak demand, low electricity prices and the costs of complying with environmental regulations for the decision.

Consumer Affairs committee members were hearing testimony on the effects of the closures on the reliability of the region's electric grid.