PATH does not exist in a bubble. I wonder how interested First Energy would be in Allegheny Energy without the future potential for PATH to rake in the bucks? Hopefully, we'll soon find out.
Jackson Kelly's (PATH's counsel) response to JCIG's petition to intervene seems a bit vexed, with an undertone of "poor me" undeserved persecution. Melick even goes so far as to show everyone how the truly evil mind works with a completely unfounded accusation that JCIG is intervening simply to delay the PATH case or to force the applicants into a bargaining situation. Wouldn't Freud have fun with the transference going on here?
How many specious arguments can Melick create to try to keep us out of this case?
1. Our interests are already represented by the Consumer Advocate Division.
The response gathers JCIG members into a group of residential electric customers, despite the fact that the reason for JCIG's intervention is clearly stated in their petition as, "The members of JCIG are concerned about how the merger proposed in this proceeding relates to, or will otherwise impact, the construction and operation of PATH and future transmission facilities." Nowhere in the petition are residential electric rates mentioned, therefore stating that CAD is already representing JCIG's interests is false.
2. JCIG's concerns are being adequately handled in the PATH case.
In their response, counsel for joint applicants states that JCIG's concerns "may (or may not) bear on PATH's certification under W. Va. Code 24-2-11a". Since this same counsel has denied many requests for information in the PATH case as falling in the "may not" camp, I suspect (and they actually imply) that their answer to these requests would be the same. They reach too far in assigning motives and relevancy to JCIG's concerns... which looks like the scrabbling, death claw of the desperate.
3. JCIG's concerns are with Federal policy, which the WV PSC has no jurisdiction over.
The classic "do as I say, not as I do". Joint petitioners are quick in attempts to prevent other parties from raising Federal/PJM/NERC issues, while they use the same as the basis for their "need" argument and continually play the FERC card in an attempt to bully the three state commissions into granting their wishes. This is the behavior of a petulant child and should be dealt with the same way these bratty, controlling children are disciplined in real life. Call their bluff and try not to laugh as their supposed "power" fails to materialize!
He did get one part right, however, "Joint Petitioners acknowledge that JCIG members are sincere in their opposition to PATH". And we're not going away either. But wasn't there a better word in their thesaurus than "sincere"? I'm truly disappointed by the lack of creativity in the vocabulary used here.
Why is PATH so resistant to answering these questions? How can we feel that this merger will be a good thing for the average electric consumer and a good thing for potential PATH victims when their counsel gets his knickers in a knot over a simple petition to intervene in the case? Did we hit the tender spot? Got something to hide? Maybe this merger is something everyone should object to rather strenuously.
Update: Just wanted to add this link I was sent regarding First Energy's fault in the 2003 blackout. We've got links to the bigger report referenced in this article around the website, but this article is short and sweet and worth reading. "It wasn’t until the lights went out in the First Energy control room that the First Energy personnel had a solid indication that the problem was indeed in their service territory (and not somewhere else)."