This meeting's purpose was "an explanation and clarification of the 2010 Annual Update of the PATH formula filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in Docket No. ER10-1363-000 and will provide meeting participants with information and clarification concerning the 2010 Annual Update, the Actual Transmission Revenue Requirement, the True-up Adjustment, input data and cost detail associated with the Annual Update."
In plain English, this is where they presented their actual PATH expenses vs. the estimate they collected for 2009, with either an under recovery being added to rates, or an over recovery being refunded to rates (both with interest).
I'm not going to get into the complicated accounting going on here. I'm sure you don't want to read it. But overall I got the impression that maybe it's not all that carefully done since one of the first things we were told was that a revision had just been filed the previous day to correct a $460,000 error where they moved costs to a different account (credit) without a corresponding subtraction (debit) from the original account, essentially doubling the expense which continued to reside in both accounts. C'mon, I know mistakes happen in accounting (I worked in the field for a number of years), but that kind of mistake is ridiculous! It was especially precious to have the accounts explained to us ignorant citizens as "buckets" where expenses are placed (because "account" is just such a hard word to comprehend?) Oh yes, they were prepared for us.
The second half of the meeting was devoted to an explanation of the PJM Interconnection, LLC, FERC Electric Tariff's Attachment H-19B, which provides for Informal and Formal Challenges of recovered expenses by interested parties. This seemed to be necessary because the "cost detail associated with the Annual Update" wasn't really available. They either didn't know or didn't have the information when they were asked about specific expenses such as PATH sponsorship of sporting events and financing of astroturf front groups.
The only attendees who asked questions were the citizens, and the gentleman from Old Dominion Electric Cooperative. Seems like it would have been quite the dud without the presence of the citizen "interested parties". There is no real oversight of how much they spend (and no definition of "prudent" cost) -- PATH spends and then has these meetings that no one attends or comments on, and if no one files a challenge, they add their costs to your electric bill.
We had a truly great group of attendees who asked pertinent questions and pretty much refrained from straying into the forbidden territory of asking questions that didn't have to do with the subject matter. AEP's attorney, however, had to be reminded of the rules by the attendees when she began to hold forth about how much PATH is "needed".
So, who wants to go again in September for PATH's 2011 projected revenue requirement? Someone other than the fox needs to watch the hen house.