"I would love to have the Ravenswood facility start again, for the state and for the 600 people who worked at that facility," said Tim Duke, president of Huntington-based Steel of West Virginia.
"But all the other electricity users are not an insurance company. ... I am all for development in the state and starting that plant up again, but [Century's] request was off the wall," Duke said.
Chris Hamilton, vice president of the West Virginia Coal Association, would not comment on the rates Century wants.
But Hamilton did suggest that if Century gets major cuts in its power rates, maybe cuts should go to coal companies, like Patriot Coal, that are facing financial troubles and bankruptcies.
Kessler also mentioned Patriot Coal, which recently declared bankruptcy - but noted that the costs Patriot is trying to shed includes many legacy benefits to retirees.
"We would not consider any help to any companies that would give up their legacies," Kessler said.
Months after the Ravenswood plant closed, hundreds of Century Aluminum retirees and their spouses lost their union-negotiated health benefits. The retirees agreed earlier this year to a plan to partially restore those benefits, in an attempt to help get the Ravenswood plant restarted.
"We want to get benefits back for the [Century] retirees and get people back to work if we can," Kessler said. "But it can't be a complete and permanent subsidy by taxpayers for their electric bills.
"We gave them a one-time grant. It is not an ongoing commitment."
Reach Paul J. Nyden at pjny...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5164.