(1) "Within five business days of filing an application, the applicant shall serve notice by certified mail on all owners of surface real estate that lies within one thousand feet of the center line on both sides of the proposed transmission line as currently shown on the records of the respective county clerk, as well as operators of all currently producing oil or gas wells that lie within one thousand feet of the center line on both sides of the proposed transmission line."
(2) "Will economically, adequately and reliably contribute to meeting the present and anticipated requirements for electric power of the customers served by the applicant or is necessary and desirable for present and anticipated reliability of service for electric power for its service area or region: Provided, That the commission includes written findings articulating how its decision is made in the best interest of West Virginia customers to meet the present and future needs and reliability of service for West Virginia customers." [Everything from "Provided..." on is added by SB614]
You can see this addresses two of the biggest challenges we've faced in fighting PATH - the lack of notification to landowners near the proposed route, and that PATH provides no benefit to our state.
This legislation will NOT change anything in our battle against PATH - the application is already in process, so it will be handled based on existing regulations - BUT it will provide protection for West Virginia citizens facing future projects. And we all know there will be more lines proposed in the future!
Now we need your help!
SB 614 has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee, but it has not been placed on the committee's agenda for consideration yet. It has to be passed in the Senate no later than March 3 - so we need you to contact by phone and/or email all the members of the Judiciary Committee! They are:
Sen. Jeff Kessler, Chairman (Marshall Co.) - 304-357-7880, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Michael Oliverio, Vice Chairman (Monongalia) - 304-357-7919, email@example.com
Sen. Richard Browning (Wyoming) - 304-357-7807, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Truman Chafin (Mingo) - 304-357-7808, email@example.com
Sen. Dan Foster (Kanawha) - 304-357-7866, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Evan Jenkins (Cabell) - 304-357-7956, email@example.com
Sen. William Laird (Fayette) - 304-357-7849, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Joseph Minard (Harrison) - 304-357-7904, email@example.com
Sen. Corey Palumbo (Kanawha) - 304-357-7854, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Herb Snyder (Jefferson) - 304-357-7957, email@example.com (be sure to thank him!!)
Sen. Ron Stollings (Boone) - 304-357-7939, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Bob Williams (Taylor) - 304-357-7995, email@example.com
Sen. Jack Yost (Brooke) - 304-357-7984, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Clark Barnes (Randolph) - 304-357-7973, email@example.com
Sen. Frank Deem (Wood) - 304-357-7970, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Mike Hall (Putnam) - 304-357-7843, email@example.com
I didn't list Sen. Don Caruth of Mercer County, even though he's on the committee and the Senate Minority Leader, because he's fighting a brain tumor. If you want to express your wishes for a speedy and thorough recovery, his office is 304-357-7901, firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can contact Sen. Unger to thank him at 304-357-7933, email@example.com.
You should write in your own words. I would say the key message is that this bill is about good government - these changes are intended to provide West Virginia citizens the opportunity to get involved and protect their properties, and to make sure the needs of West Virginia citizens are considered first.
If you've already contacted delegates about House Bill 4403, please note that THIS IS A DIFFERENT BILL. Both the State Senate and the House of Delegates are considering legislation. Both houses eventually have to agree upon the same bill, but for now we improve our chances by having a bill working its way through the Senate.
For more information, check out Bill Howley's blog at http://calhounpowerline.wordpress.com/ - he's got a diary about this (and earlier diaries about HB 4403). And the Martinsburg Journal wrote about Sen. Unger's bill in Saturday's paper - http://www.journal-news.net/page/content.detail/id/532193.html.
If you have family and friends living in counties represented by these gentlemen, forward this to them and ask them to contact them, too! It's important that they hear from AS MANY PEOPLE AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE!!
Thanks for lending your voice to this. If you have questions, don't hesitate to contact me or any members of the Executive Committee - Roger, Keryn, Debbie, Robin, JP, Sandie, Cathy, Steve, or Larry.
Patience Wait, Outreach Chair