AEP CEO Michael Morris told a couple of whoppers during a recent earnings call.  Maybe he did it knowingly because he was trying to save face with investors about the failure of their PATH Project; or maybe he did it unknowingly because he has no clue what's going on at his own company.  Whatever the reason, neither one of the AEP executives backing him up bothered to correct him.  So, what does this say about the moral climate of AEP?

AEP's "Principles of Business Conduct - The Power of Integrity" can be found here.  However, if Morris would remain uncorrected while misinforming analysts about the state of AEP's affairs, does that mean that these principles are mere window-dressing?  Or do they simply fail to apply at a certain level of AEP's hierarchy?  Is Morris setting the right example?

Let's take a look at some of AEP's principles and see how they have been applied to the PATH Project over the years.

Page 1 contains a Message from Mike Morris:

"Every day we demonstrate our commitment to excellence by the way we live and work according to our shared beliefs about the way we will treat each other, our customers, and the communities we serve."

I don't know how they treat each other, but the way they have treated their potential customers and the communities they intended to serve with the PATH project has been abysmal.  The PATH Project has been one huge lie ever since its inception.  PATH is not needed (finally admitted by PJM), and relied heavily upon a dishonest PR spin campaign and influence buying to facilitate necessary approvals.  I have never encountered an affected "customer" in PATH's "community" who didn't feel that they were being lied to and bullied by PATH and its land agents over the past several years.  PATH has also been hugely expensive to the ratepayers collectively financing it, and personally expensive to the citizen opponents who have expended a great deal of time, effort and money over the past three years in order to defend themselves and have a voice in the approval process.

More from Mikey:

"Ethical conduct means doing the right thing at the right time, every time. It means applying our core values in all our business decisions. It means adhering to the laws, regulations, and policies related to the performance of our jobs. And, it means demonstrating our leadership, integrity, and compassion as a valued corporate citizen of every community we serve. We all share responsibility for maintaining the power of AEP’s integrity."

Did AEP "do the right thing at the right time" when their greed got the better of them during The Transmission Project Development Renaissance -- Siting Investment Post EPACT 2006?  (Page 3 - Look!  There's our pals Haney, Poff and Herling!)  No, they didn't.  Their I-765 project was just too much, too late, to slip past a public that was well-prepared to deal with it, unlike the TrAIL project that Allegheny Energy and Dominion managed to slide through approvals with bribery and illegal backdoor political deals.  We were ready for you this time!  AEP's wrong decision at the wrong time has already cost PJM's ratepayers over $100,000,000, plus 14.3% interest yearly.

Did AEP demonstrate integrity and compassion in our community when their land agents tried to get landowners to sign option agreements without the advice of a lawyer?  This begs the question:  Would Mikey and his henchmen sign a property purchase agreement or option on their own real estate without the advice of a lawyer?  I doubt it.  I don't think Mikey is allowed to fart without the prior advice of AEP's legal staff.

Now let's get to the Principles:

Our Mission
Our mission, simply stated, is bringing comfort to our customers, supporting business and commerce, and building strong communities.

Was having PATH hanging over your head for the past 3 years comforting to any of you citizens?  I will say that PATH strengthened our communities though -- it brought us all together against a common enemy like no issue in recent memory.  The PATH opposition came from diverse backgrounds and varied political persuasions, but yet we were all able to work together effectively to stop PATH.

Our Values

Justice & Fairness
Doing the right thing at the right time, every time.
Cultivating a reputation of honesty and straightforward
Accepting accountability for your actions and living up to high ethical expectations.
Developing a sense of community among all those you encounter.
Treating others the way we want to be treated, regardless of position, and valuing each person’s talents, perspectives, and experience.
Maintaining a sincere desire to make the world a better place.

We've already covered that "right thing, right time" thing, so let's skip to AEP's trustworthiness.  After nearly 3 years of being lied to, who trusts AEP?  Anyone?  AEP's reputation is one of a dishonest, greedy, uncaring corporation, and they fully earned it.

Accountability - now is the time for AEP to admit that their PATH project is never going to happen.  They made a mistake with the project, now they need to pull the plug and quit trying to "suspend" their project and hoping that PJM can come up with another excuse to build it.

Citizenship - AEP is an outsider in our community, and always will be.  We realize a corporation is not a person (no matter what the courts told corporations) and has no guilt, compassion or any emotions of any kind.  A corporation makes money, not warm fuzzies.  A corporation doesn't "care" about anything except profits.

Respect - Is that what Archie "Creepyfreak" Pugh was practicing when he spent multiple hearings, in the words of Patience, "staring at us like a stinkbug on his shoe?"  Further, when has PATH ever "respected" any of us?  Examples demonstrate that AEP was never respectful of the opposition:  Castigating, demeaning legal filings; making jokes to each other about "the people around here" at a Tucker County public meeting; dismissing all our concerns as insignificant "NIMBY" issues, both directly by PATH personnel and through PATH's use of third party front groups to discredit opposition to their project.

Caring - see Citizenship above.  Also, ask yourself this:  Does a gigantic substation in the middle of 1350 homes and the destruction of thousands of acres of forest, farmland and suburban homes, for no other reason than to provide corporate profit, make the world a better place?"

Relationships With Customers
A key to AEP’s business success lies in our ability to please our customers by meeting their needs in ways that improve their quality of life. This includes delivering safe, efficient, and reliable services of consistently high value and promoting our products truthfully. If we please our customers, we will please our regulators, our financial results will reward shareholders, and our employees can reap significant rewards. AEP depends on long-term, continuing relationships with satisfied customers.  Cultivating a reputation of honesty and straightforward communication is fundamental to this long-range approach.

PATH does not meet our needs; it meets AEP's need to make money.  PATH does not please us.  I think we have made that abundantly clear to AEP over the years.  Living with the stress of the possibility of losing our homes, our investments, our health and that of our children, for nearly three years did not improve our quality of life.  It caused sleepless nights, gray hair and denied us any form of true relaxation... for year upon year.

PATH is AEP's "product."  They did not promote it truthfully.  They promoted it by attempting to intimidate us, and through a PR spin and propaganda campaign that they made us reimburse them for.  We are not pleased with AEP.  AEP's "regulators" aren't too happy with them either because PATH wasted a huge amount of their time and resources on a project that was never needed.  AEP's reputation is one of dishonesty and evasiveness.  Our "relationship" with AEP has gone on much too long already.  Go away, AEP, and let us get on with our lives!

Each employee and officer should deal fairly with our customers, suppliers, competitors, and employees. No employee should take unfair advantage of anyone through manipulation, concealment, abuse of privileged information, misrepresentation of material facts, or any other unfair-dealing practice.

Wow!  PATH's land agents coerced land owners into signing legal agreements without the advice of an attorney, manipulated them to get those options signed, and misrepresented material facts about need, safety and the effect of their project on our communities and finances.  Nothing was fair about waking up one morning and finding your whole life turned upside down because a corporation had decided to drop a high voltage power line in your backyard.  We paid all PATH's legal costs, and then we had to pay our own legal costs as well, or we wouldn't have been fairly represented in the legal process -- nothing fair about that either.

In general, the antitrust laws prohibit:
• Joint action, by means of conspiracies, agreements and other understandings between two or more competitors regarding prices, customers, territories, and other policies or conduct that unreasonably restrain competition.

• Unilateral action that is exclusionary and tends to create or maintain monopoly power in the marketplace for some particular product or service.
• Discrimination in the prices to buyers of similar goods, who are similarly situated, during the same market conditions, subject to several complex defenses and conditions.

How about AEP & Allegheny Energy entering into a shell company "partnership" to construct a completely unnecessary transmission line in order to ship the electricity they produce to customers hundreds of miles away who will pay more for it?  On top of that, there are millions of ratepayers who derive no benefit from PATH that will be paying for it for years.  And then there's the matter of those PATH alternatives that were proposed by others and rejected, with bias, by PJM.  Did AEP have a hand in that?

• False or misleading advertising that either disparages a competing product or service, or conveys materially misleading information about our own product or service.

Remember this one?  "Our nation's power grid system is at risk.  Five years ago, the blackout in the northeast was a warning."  The northeast blackout was caused by human error on the part of FirstEnergy and lack of transmission line maintenance that caused a line to sag into a tree that shouldn't have been there.  That has nothing to do with building additional transmission lines.

Or how about this one?  "The new PATH transmission line is not just a bright idea for our region but for communities and neighborhoods along the way.  From West Virginia to Virginia and's one PATH but it leads everywhere... bringing safe, reliable power to our communities... making sure industry has a dependable source of energy to count on... and giving our local schools, hospitals and offices the energy it takes to stay up and running.  Best of all, the PATH transmission line will be there to ensure dependable energy for the future.  Not only reinforcing our power grid... but ready and able to support new energy sources, including renewables."  PATH was a transmission line.  It was not part of the distribution system and did not bring power to the communities along the way.  It was a highway plowing through our communities on its way to the east coast, with no local exit or entrance ramps for our use.  PATH originated at AEP's John Amos coal-fired power plant and was designed to carry coal-by-wire, not renewables.

And then there were the ads that started out, "Despite what you may have heard.." that intended to disparage the opposition's message.

I would consider all of these examples to be misleading, and there are hundreds of others.  PATH bombarded the public with misleading advertising, and recovered the cost of this misleading advertising from the same public.

AEP is committed to nurturing strong and productive relationships with our public officials and regulators. Employees must conduct Company business before public officials and regulators openly and honestly, exercising the utmost integrity at all times. When in doubt on any ethical question, always choose the highest standard.

The Company recognizes that major corporate issues can be at stake in the political arena and maintains a public policy program to advocate the Company’s positions on these issues. Such advocacy often involves
communication with elected officials. However, the Company will exert no pressure, direct or indirect, to influence decisions of employees who serve in public positions.

The PATH Companies engaged in a federal, state and local lobbying effort that was intended to unfairly influence approvals for their project.  PATH also recovered a portion of this lobbying expense from the ratepayers, in violation of FERC rules.  When asked to produce documents in discovery related to their lobbying campaign, PATH refused to be open and honest and had to be ordered by the WV-PSC to produce detail of their lobbying account.  There are still many unanswered questions about PATH's lobbying efforts.  Does AEP want to answer them now, in their spirit of openness and honesty?  I doubt it.

Accurate Accounting
The Company’s records, books, and documents must accurately reflect all transactions and provide a full account of the organization’s assets, liabilities, revenues, and expenses in order to accomplish the above and to comply with related laws and generally accepted accounting principles.

Two words:  Formal Challenge

Security of Property and Confidential Information
All employees must protect the Company’s and third parties’ confidential information and prevent the information from being improperly disclosed to others inside or outside the Company.

The PATH Companies made some serious mistakes in this vein during discovery on the 2010 Annual Update.  AEP staff and PATH's counsel released this.  I'm only displaying the cover page of the document as an example, and not the confidential document it was attached to.  PATH counsel then turned around and asked me to sign a protective agreement for this very same confidential document, after it had already been released to another party without benefit of an agreement!  PATH counsel also released the personal information of a third party, one of their contractors.  We didn't ask for, or want, the confidential information we received.  I'm not going to go into any more detail on this.  Randy knows what he did.

AEP’s aim is to please the customer by meeting their needs in ways that improve their quality of life. That means giving one kind of service to everyone … the best possible.

Living in close proximity to a 765kV high voltage transmission line does not improve our quality of life.  It detracts from the quality of our lives, and puts our actual lives in jeopardy from constant exposure to EMF.  In addition, AEP's plan for approval and construction of PATH wasn't the best possible.  There are a multitude of other ways to attempt to accomplish the same goals that don't rely on dishonesty, intimidation, and influence buying.  We hope we have taught AEP some things about their processes along the way.

Realize organizational integrity – walk our business ethics talk.

Mike Morris certainly didn't walk the talk when he misled financial analysts during an earnings call.  AEP's CFO and Treasurer didn't walk the talk when they let the misinformation go uncorrected.  My conclusion is that AEP doesn't walk their talk, which renders their Principles of Business Conduct nothing but worthless talk.

Put simply, our reputation is earned by our conduct. Unfortunately, the actions of one individual can damage the reputation of all. Since perception is often
reality for our customers and other stakeholders, we must take care to guard our reputation by acting with integrity in everything we do.

Well said, AEP.  Your corporate reputation has been sullied by your lack of integrity regarding the PATH project, and the disgraceful way you treated affected citizens during the process.  Because of the immortality of the Internet and our success in this David vs. Goliath battle,  AEP's reputation of dishonesty will be a weakness that haunts them for a long, long time.  The PATH opposition has created a new paradigm in successfully fighting greedy corporate initiatives that will be referenced by those who come after us time and time again.  Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

Oh, the stupid stuff they've said... over and over again!

What's the most annoying and overused PATH word/phrase?
reliability violations
"PJM ordered us to build PATH"
Best Practices
corporate stewardship
public education free polls
StopPATH WV's very own Electra will be performing live at our PATH Funeral Party on May 21!  You've probably all seen the video, now meet the singer/songwriter!  And, yes, she'll be wearing the famous light up dress and hat... don't miss it!  Send in your RSVP today!

For all you blog fans, Bill Howley, author of The Powerline, will also be attending our party!  If you love the blog but haven't met Bill in person, here's your chance!

Our friends at Mountain View Solar & Wind will also be at the party and will have staff to consult and information available about how you can get off the grid!  It's cheaper and easier than you may think... be sure to check them out during the party and also thank them for helping to sponsor the party!  Wait until you see their contribution...  you'll be cheering for them before the party is over... guaranteed!

More to come...
If you haven't yet, be sure to read the testimony of Brad & Carol Castle, linked in this post on TPL.  The Castles made absolute mincemeat out of TrAILCo's expensive, unprepared attorney during cross-examination (pages 68-84 of the pdf), and it happens because, in the words of Brad Castle, "I have some common sense."

We're talking about, of course, Jackson Kelly's Melick, who has been such a delight to all the PATH intervenors over the past two years.  He has harangued pro se intervenors, told the Commission what other parties are thinking and plotting (which has been entirely a creation of his own sick mind), directed the Commissioners to go read internet blogs and even quoted a comment from a blog in one of PATH's motions.  You know, he's just not normal (and there are 2 people who read this blog who know EXACTLY what I mean by that, but it wouldn't be nice to embarrass Melick by publicly sharing it here).  I've long had the opinion that "someone" would benefit immensely from a little professional psychiatric help for his "issues."

But, back to the Castles... they consistently clobbered Melick (and thereby TrAILCo) with the truth.  I'm sure we can all agree with Brad Castle's opinion when it comes to power company attorneys, "...frankly, I don’t
like lawyers..." and that's because, "...what Mr. Melick may not realize is we did not solicit them to come onto our property. We did not invite them onto our property. We did not invite this whole line to come to us. It came to us like a bulldozer and bulldozed us over."

Despite Melick's best histrionics and objections to the Castle's testimony and exhibits, the Commission sided with the plaintiffs and allowed it into the case, perhaps because Brad Castle asked them point blank, "But do you want the truth or what he wants you to hear?"

Other familiar power company themes emerge in the Castle's testimony:

Carol Castle: "We feel like they used an arrogance in not responding to our concerns, by sending a message like, well, why should we?"

Brad Castle:  "And lots of times it looked like the left hand didn't know what the right hand was doing."

See?  Common sense.  The Castles saw right through TrAILCo/Allegheny/FirstEnergy/attorneys-who-can't-think-their-way-out-of-a-paper-bags' shoddy, last-minute defense. 

Here's some advice to Melick and the power companies from the Castles:

"But you know, they got to stand good for their word."


"Treat people with the integrity that they would like to be treated with."

And from me:  Psychologists are listed under "P" in the phone book.  Don't make me have to embarrass you.

It looks like the love affair between AEP and the former Allegheny Energy may be over.  Our star-crossed lovers have now begun to attack each other.  What's going to be left when they're done rolling around on the floor and pulling each other's hair?

The latest volley was lobbed by AEP on Monday, when they petitioned to intervene out of time in the TrAIL abandonment case at FERC.  However, this was only the latest provocation in an escalating battle.

On February 25, the FirstEnergy/Allegheny Energy merger was finalized.  Allegheny Energy found themselves a new sugar daddy and cuckolded AEP.

On February 28, PJM announced that they were "suspending" the PATH project.  Word is that FirstEnergy wasn't interested in taking on any red-headed stepchildren like the PATH project.  At that time, AEP's CEO reacted by whining, "We remain convinced that the project will be needed and plan to move forward with it when PJM completes its review."

On April 21, AEP's CEO threatened to, "move forward on that project, with or without our current partners."


It was really only a matter of time.  Despite their "good buddy" public faces, these energy corporations are competitors and will gladly stab each other in the back when it suits their purposes.  It's all about the money!  Remember what happened when Dominion got interested in offshore wind and proposed four alternatives to the PATH project last year? 

Fight on, fellas!  We'll be sitting here making like the Byzantines.  Because we're smarter than you.

Although the Formula Rate Annual Update of PATH's 2010 expenses isn't due to be filed until June 1, here's a little preview for all of you who are interested in getting more involved in the process this year.  All of the numbers in the Annual Update come from Form 1.  The PATH Companies filed their FERC Forms in mid-April.

For FERC accounting purposes, the PATH project is (unevenly) split between two PATH companies.  PATH-WV is AEP's portion of the project.  PATH-Allegheny is Allegheny/FirstEnergy's portion of the project.

Take a look at the Form 1 numbers.  You will notice account numbers on many of the line items.  These correspond with FERC's Uniform System of Accounts (USofA).  If you want to know what kind of expenses a certain account contains, you can look it up.

As an example, let's take a look at the numbers for some of the accounts that were part of the Formal Challenge on PATH's 2009 expenses.  This certainly isn't an exhaustive list of potential trouble spots, but are some of the places where PATH likes to "hide" the expenses of their External Affairs (PR spin) war on the citizens.

Account 426.1 - Donations
PATH combined expenses for 2010 - $65,090
Compare to combined 2009 expenses - $53,054

Account 426.4 - Certain Civic and Political Activities (lobbying)
PATH combined expenses for 2010 - $378,396
Compare to combined 2009 expenses - $314,793

Account 923 - Outside Services
PATH combined expenses for 2010 - $2,376,559
Compare to combined 2009 expenses - $2,025,624

Account 930.1 - General Advertising
PATH combined expenses for 2010 - $613,815
Compare to combined 2009 expenses - $2,104,925

Account 930.2 - Misc. General Expenses - This is where PATH stuffs their "industry association dues for company memberships."
PATH combined expenses for 2010 - $97,137
Compare to combined 2009 expenses - $77,037

The numbers tell a story.  PATH spent even more of your money on these activities in 2010, with the exception of advertising, which fell.  Why do you think that happened?  Interested in asking PATH some questions?  Hold on to that thought... you'll get your chance this summer when PATH holds their Annual Update meeting in July.  Meanwhile, take a look around...
Sugarloaf Conservancy is still pursuing the FERC Town Hall Meeting in Urbana to answer your questions about the PATH project which was promised to them by Rep. Bartlett.

Rep. Bartlett has submitted Sugarloaf's questions to FERC and is working to set up the meeting.  Stay tuned!
Corporate earnings calls have always been a source of great entertainment, and AEP's earnings call last Thursday was no exception.  During the call, CEO Michael Morris insults PJM, threatens to dump PATH project partners, disparages FERC and demand side management, and tells a HUGE LIE... all in the answer to one simple question about the status of PATH!

However, the entire transcript of the earnings call from Seeking Alpha is worth reading to get a handle on some of AEP's financial scheming and future plans.

I keep hearing rumors that Morris is going to retire but he keeps hanging around.  Pssst... hey, AEP... you really need to get rid of this guy like now, he really sounded mad as a hatter when Paul Ridzon of KeyBanc Capital Markets asked that PATH question.  Was that some sort of accident that it was allowed to slip in?

Here's a quote of the PATH question:

Paul Ridzon - KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc.

And then just what's the latest thinking on PATH?

Michael Morris

The latest thinking on PATH?

Ah, the old "repeating the question to give yourself more time to think up a good lie" ruse!  Or, do you think he looked more like a deer in the headlights?  He couldn't really have  been surprised to get a question about PATH, could he?

Paul Ridzon - KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc.


Paul's not helping him out here... bravo!

Michael Morris

We're ready, willing and able to go forward whenever the PJM wakes up and makes a decision that makes sense.

What he's really referring to is a future point in time when PJM quits fretting over being scrutinized by FERC and gets back to carrying out its duties as Mikey's personal transmission-ordering henchmen.  That's the only thing that PJM does that "makes sense" to Mikey.

Paul Ridzon - KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc.

Kind of, what's your outlook as to when PJM could do that or what's your timeline?

Michael Morris

Well as -- well, let's go back to one of the earlier questions, why do you need to replace 5,500 megawatts with about 1,000 megawatts combined cycle gas? The PATH project would allow for rationalization of facilities being built throughout the PJM to handle the impact of the potential premature offline reality that will come from the EPA rules. So clearly, things are lining up to that project being done. It has always made sense, and we believe that it will always make sense. We aren't spending a penny on it right now, however, because it's crystal clear that the way PJM sees it, they don't think they need it until 2020. We think time will demonstrate that it needs to be a little bit earlier than that. And we stand ready to move forward on that project, with or without our current partners.

Brief explanation of Mikey's "rationalization of facilities" that will create a new need for PATH -- what AEP is banking on is the retirement of old, dirty generators that can't meet new EPA rules creating a huge, new demand for Mikey's filthy, pollution spewing Igor, the John Amos facility in St. Albans, WV.  It really makes no sense at all, but I guess they forgot to give him his happy pills last Thursday.

"We aren't spending a penny on it right now..."? Mikey, Mikey, Mikey... that was an outright lie!  If that's the case, what the heck is PATH doing before FERC arguing that they need to continue to utilize PATH's Formula Rate for expenditures "necessary to maintain the project in its current state?"  Your two PATH companies have submitted FERC filings stating an expected $9M of capital expenditures in 2011, and that is exclusive of continuing non-capital expenditures.

I'd also like to point out that PJM actually said PATH won't be needed until sometime after 2026, not 2020 or before.

Threatening to cut FirstEnergy out of the deal if they don't go along with your plan is a nice touch, but I'd really like to see you pull that off, what with the jointly owned shell companies, service territories and your current FERC incentives package.  Sometimes you just can't be an autocrat, no matter how much you might wish to be.

Paul Ridzon - KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc.

Do you think PJM has thought hard enough about upcoming retirements?

Michael Morris

Well I'll tell you, we had a very interesting meeting with them a week or so ago with their leadership team. And I think they got an eye opener. And there's no question that there will be retirements from these activities. And you also see the arguments in front of the FERC that, please don't make the demand response players actually respond to demand reductions. I mean, how silly can that possibly be? If you're going to manage your demand by people saying, we'll drop offline when peaks are tough, and then they argue that they don't want to be dropped offline. You can't run a farm like that, that's PJM's shortcoming.

Oh, so now Mikey's a farmer!  Well, he certainly is "fertilizing his field," isn't he?  So, "we" admit to having meetings with PJM leadership where they got their eyes (blackened?) opened, do "we"?  Was that meeting on the public list of meetings that FERC has been attending?  Would it be possible to get a transcript of that meeting, since PJM's planning process is so "open and transparent"?  Love the whining about DSM and FERC -- I'm sure Mikey has plenty of "fertilizer" for PJM's farm too!

Paul Ridzon - KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc.

Can't make that up in volume, ha?

Michael Morris

Not a chance, not a chance.

Paul Ridzon - KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc.

Okay. Thanks a lot, Mike.

Michael Morris

You bet.

Maybe next time they should replace him with a cardboard cutout or someone else that doesn't sound so much like a querulous kid whose lollipop has been taken away...

Invitations to StopPATH's celebration of state application withdrawals have begun to go out and will continue over the next several days.  If you would like to come but haven't received your invitation, let me know.

We've got a fun evening shaping up and are looking forward to reveling in PATH's demise with all our friends from West Virginia, Virginia and Maryland!  Here are some of the things we have planned:

A delicious meal cooked on the grill and served with a tempting array of homemade goodies creatively decorated to commemorate the death of the PATH project.  This will be followed by live entertainment and open mike for all who would like to say a few words about the citizens' victory.  Next up -- remember those senior superlatives from high school?  Well, we've created our own PATH Superlatives version, which will be awarded to various individuals present!  Each one of us has brought our own unique talents and strengths to this fight and only through our collective might was this victory made possible.  We're going to cap the night off with a symbolic bonfire where we're going to burn PATH in effigy (unless the PATH guys crash the party and want to volunteer to be tossed into the flames for added realism-- we're flexible)!

We have some accommodations available, as well as space for overnight camping.  Hope to see you all there!
Honestly, corporations and their spin campaigns...

Here's an article about "coalition building" and how to deceive the public to get your corporate money-making scheme approved by regulators.

This PR twit gives the game away with her self-promotional bragging... isn't that always how the arrogant defeat themselves?

What I found completely ridiculous is that she never mentions who is supposed to pay for her services.  According to her article, the coalition just springs out of thin air with a "leader" and a "coordinator," pretending that her company just did this out of the goodness of their hearts.  Of course, we know that the corporation with the financial interest in the project pays the PR company, the "leader," and all the coalition expenses.  And if the corporation is really stupid, they do it with ratepayer or public funds, like PATH did.

"Credibility can often be elusive for a company trying to build a valuable yet controversial infrastructure project. In spite of best intentions and costly efforts, the public’s perception is often centered on corporate self-interest rather than a larger public benefit."

All corporate actions are self-interested and based on making a profit. There is no consideration of "public benefit" taking place in boardrooms, it's all about making money for their shareholders.  Credibility is even more elusive for a company trying to deceive the public with a fake "coalition" front group that is publicly exposed as a lie.  Rather than building front groups to attempt to influence public opinion and regulatory approval, corporations could try to earn respect the honest way.  However, because corporations are inherently dishonest and oh so arrogant, they persist in the same old game.  The public is catching on!  Front groups only end up causing even more credibility problems for the corporation and result in dead projects.  Isn't that right, PATH?