PATH still isn't telling FERC the whole story, only that PJM determined that the need for the PATH project has "moved several years into the future." But, what PATH presented at the VA-SCC hearing showed that the need actually moved so far "into the future" that PATH fell off the far side of PJM's 15-year planning horizon. PATH tells FERC that PJM says PATH is currently not needed, so they are conducting "more analysis" -- more open-ended, uncertain nonsense. PATH wants FERC to know that their March 7 letter was FYI only, and FERC should not take any action. That's what the kid always says when they get caught with their hand in the cookie jar, isn't it? However, PATH is concerned because your letters are "inaccurate" and "reflect a misunderstanding" of: Commission orders, PJM's RTEP, the PATH project, and the Formula Rate. In other words, you don't know nothin'!
For any comments that can be remotely related to the Formal Challenge, PATH hides behind their Answer.
And PATH says that FERC has no business interfering in the PJM planning process or "second guessing" PJM's decisions. PATH's a little late here... it's already happened. And PATH also contradicts themselves (or PJM) here. Despite the fact that their letter states that PJM has placed PATH in abeyance for the 2011 RTEP, they further claim PJM will report the results of its "more rigorous analysis" of PATH as part of its 2011 RTEP. So, which is it?
PATH says the Kemptown substation is going to happen, despite Frederick County's local government jurisdiction. According to PATH, Frederick County's actions are "not final and are not binding." PATH thinks the MD-PSC can preempt the County's authority.
PATH thinks that FERC has no business revisiting their incentives and formula rate cost recovery system. They base this on the Commission's 2008 decision, but fail to consider more recent events, such as PATH no longer being part of PJM's RTEP. Being an approved RTEP project was a requirement for the incentives PATH received in 2008.
PATH whines because not all persons who commented fully understand all the legal and financial/accounting intricacies of their formula rate and some of you used the word "cancel." The word should have been "abandon", and PATH thinks all comments should be tossed aside for that reason. Here's the deal... if the project is abandoned (what you would call canceled), then PATH would have to file with FERC to collect its stranded capital costs. All costs would have to be prudent and the abandonment cannot be through any fault of the PATH companies. This would be a separate filing from anything going on right now and up to FERC to decide, however, just like a PSC case, parties can intervene and present a case regarding why the expenditures are not prudent or why abandonment was PATH's fault. What is at issue right now is that PATH is refusing to abandon their unneeded project, and pretending that they can merely "suspend" it indefinitely.
PATH thinks FERC should proceed with on-going ROE proceedings, even though their project died, and your concerns about the 14.3% ROE are "without merit."
PATH says they need to continue to spend money on their dead project. These expenditures are doubly necessary apparently: "...incurring reasonable and necessary expenditures necessary to maintain..." PATH's continued expenditures include things like writing their letter to FERC, so you all are at fault for causing them to spend more money! The rest of the money is going to be spent on those mysterious "non-development activities" (like front groups?) And besides, PJM ordered them to continue to spend your money on their failed project.
The concerns about the vacated NIETC designations have no relevance to rate recovery, according to PATH. As I recall, they were mentioned relevant to incentives, not rate recovery, a distinction PATH failed to grasp. PATH also wants you to know they are not "receiving financial assistance," since they are recovering their own money invested in the ratebase. However, they are also receiving financial assistance with their project expenses directly from ratepayers for their non-capital costs, and also a hefty return on the capital costs in the ratebase every year. I guess since they don't like the term "financial assistance," perhaps they would prefer the term "corporate welfare?" I dunno...
Now, here's the part you're going to love most of all! All those stories you told FERC about misconduct on the part of PATH are FALSE. PATH told the Commission you are all a bunch of liars. Be sure to have a tissue handy when you read PATH's rendition of how wonderful they have been to all of you. It's positively heart-breaking how unappreciated they have been by you. PATH even goes so far as to vouch for PJM's credibility in their letter.
PATH claims that their project will not harm your health or your property values and your concerns are unfounded. Aside from that, it's none of FERC's business.
So, what should you do now? You can let PATH have the last word, or you can answer them with another letter to FERC. You all probably know the drill by now, but here's a link to the instructions. If you haven't sent a letter to FERC yet, but would like to, just follow the instructions.
The tone and content of PATH's letter aren't anything new... it's the third time I've seen the same basic arrogance & denial from PATH before FERC. PATH must think FERC is really dumb.