What do you think Jefferson County needs more?  A new federal training facility that will provide 400 new, good-paying jobs and draw many people to the area to attend training, or a high-voltage transmission line that will devalue property, increase our taxes, raise our electric rates and give our kids cancer?

The new federal anti-terrorism training facility is back on the table for Jefferson County.  The facility was soundly rejected by Eastern Shore residents due to noise and environmental concerns and the feds have pulled out and are reportedly reconsidering previous alternatives.

One of the previous alternatives considered is a site south of Charles Town, however that site was rejected in favor of the Eastern Shore location because PATH is proposed to cross the property which was under consideration for the facility.  The feds don't want a site with a transmission line, which will interfere with their operations.   PATH is still supposed to cross the property, so what happens now?  Will Jefferson County lose out on this opportunity again because of PATH, or will they simply re-route the project around the new site and put it in someone else's backyard?

Just another reason why Jefferson County needs to stand strong together against PATH. 
After a recent re-design of StopPATH's website, this blog is now the place for your comments.  Currently, comments are in open format.  You do not have to enter your real name (if you choose not to be cyveilled by the power companies), and your email address is optional (unless you want a reply from me) -- the only thing you need is a screen name and a comment, no registration is required.  Your personal information is safe. We will try this method for comments until the trolls show up and ruin the party.

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Okay, I promise, last post tonight about Allegheny Energy's Q1 2010 Earnings Call transcript, but I've been waiting to have this thing in quotable, linkable form since May.  It's like a bottomless bag of nasty little M&M's...

Amount spent on PATH so far:  $55 - 60 million. 
Additional amount expected to be spent in 2010:  $65 million.  Total- $125 million, and they haven't even got pending applications accepted in two of the three states yet, much less constructed anything.

Sounds like we're a little off budget, doesn't it, Paul?

"So you’ll see some spending, but the big spending would be in the last two or three years of the project."

Danielle Seitz - Dudack Research: And I am assuming that when you get the date, the estimates will have changed and you will adjust the estimate?

Paul J. Evanson - Chairman, President and CEO: We will, yes. And we’ll get much and we’ll start kind of fine tuning the estimate. I mean, that a billion two costs that we have was done two, two and a half years ago. So that’s brings the change. And we’ve learned a lot in building out the TrAIL project. So that may turn out to be a little conservative number.


I guess there's a reason Allegheny Energy pays CEO Paul Evanson the big bucks ($67M per year) -- the old codger is psychic!  Or maybe the reality is that the fix has always been in for PJM to do their math backwards and come up with a problem for the answer they are given by Evanson and his counter-codger at AEP.  He knew over a month before PJM's latest RTEP was released what PATH's new inservice date would be.  You be the judge...

From Allegheny Energy's May 5th Q1 2010 Earnings Call:

Paul J. Evanson - Chairman, President and CEO: Well, the delay in PATH – well the determination of when PATH is needed in any particular year is done by PJM and have a separate transmission group, that that’s really what they focus on. And what they focus on really first foremost and almost in every way is reliability and when the violations of their reliability standards. So they look at that at the earliest movement and try to make sure it gets in before that movement is met. And the economic conditions changed dramatically from two years or so ago, two and a half years ago when it was first proposed, which has led to the delay. But we are looking forward to what their conclusion will be in June of this year. My own guess, my own personal guess is they’ll probably see a need in maybe 2015 or perhaps 2016, that’s my guess. That has to be on their very thorough, very complex analysis.




Get out your wallet... again!  Tomorrow your electric rates are going up again if you're an Allegheny Power customer.

Lately, rates have gone up every six months, and those are only the rate increases approved by the WV Public Service Commission and does not include the recovery of PATH, TrAIL, Susquehanna-Roseland and MAPP project costs and power company profits that happen every January.

Rate increases are happening with increasing frequency. Why?

Paul Evanson, Allegheny Energy CEO, Q1 2010 Allegheny Energy Earnings Call:

"...we reported that adjusted earnings excluding cost related to our proposed merger with FirstEnergy and unrealized losses on hedges were $103 million or $0.61 per share."
Interesting opinion piece in industry rag Electric Light and Power.  In the industry's greedy arrogance, we should be easily led, dismissed and ridiculed, but now emerges a vein of anger at our success.  Now they fight us.

"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog" -- Mark Twain
Despite PATH's subterfuge that PATH will benefit West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle and the tri-state area, new information recently released by PJM shows the true plan for the electricity transported by PATH.

PATH wants us to believe that the 765kV line will feed from the proposed new Kemptown substation into two existing transmission lines that currently cross the proposed substation site in Frederick County, MD.  If our grid is so "congested" and "overloaded", how are two smaller, existing lines supposed to take PATH's load? They're not.

PJM's true intention is to build an additional new transmission line out of the new substation in Kemptown which will connect with Emory Grove (MD) to Conastone (MD) to Peach Bottom (PA) to Keeney (DE) and ending in Salem (NJ).

It may not be the exact same plan PJM came up with in 2005 (see Project Mountaineer map here), shortly after American Electric Power became a member of their RTO, but it does get coal-fired power from the John Amos plant to New Jersey.  There are most likely future plans to add even more new transmission lines to take it north to New York City.

BG&E and PSE&G get to be the next beneficiaries to feed at the FERC rate incentive trough filled with the empty wallets of the 51 million ratepayers in PJM.

Why are West Virginia, Virginia and Maryland expected to sacrifice and pay for all of this expansion?

We have always maintained that PATH's electricity is intended for New Jersey.  Now PJM has provided us with proof of PATH's big lie.

You need to watch this.

When does the Louis Berger Group show up with the walrus nets?
Here's a couple of links to news stories related to PATH's Friday press release that are actually worth reading.

Coal Tattoo (WV Gazette blog)

The Journal

It's refreshing to see that at least two reporters in West Virginia took the time on a summer Friday afternoon to do a little investigating instead of taking the lazy way out by simply reprinting a press release in a one-sided "story" and checking out early for the weekend.
Here's an interesting article in Grist about a Swedish city that is well on its way to becoming a self-sustaining unit. There's a lot we could learn from them as we move our country forward in terms of energy policy.  In West Virginia, our contentment to be controlled and used by out-of-state corporations for their own financial gain is hampering our ability to become a prosperous leader in the technology of the future.