The meeting began with PATH asking for 30 minutes in which to present their case, although they were only allowed 15 as per the rules. The commission denied their request.... and it was downhill from there. PATH's attorney tried to object and complain early in the public comment portion, but was immediately shut down by the Commission. They finally just slunk low in their seats and took their beating, all their pre-meeting arrogance whipped out of them.
One of the hard questions asked was regarding the intended use for PATH's payload. The site currently houses two 500kV lines, which, according to PJM and PATH, are severely overloaded. The new substation will have not only the two current "overloaded" 500kV lines feeding into it, but also the 765kV PATH line. The only thing feeding out of it in their plan are the two existing 500kV lines. Logic says this is a big dead end for a lot of juice. According to PATH, the electricity flowing in is going into "buckets" where it will be re-distributed onto the two existing lines. Is "bucket" some kind of PATH code word for "bulllsh*t"? PATH promised there would be no additional lines constructed out of the substation, despite designing the substation to accommodate another exiting 765kV, as well as two 500kV future lines. Also despite the appearance of this line in PJM's plans. You believe them, don't you?
The best question of the evening, which was also the last, came from Commissioner Kai Hagen, who asked PATH's attorney if he would want to live next to their substation. The attorney decided that he was very happy where he was currently living, and the room erupted with laughter and catcalls.
The Commission then made and seconded a motion and began to cite various sections of the comprehensive plan which PATH's plan violated. One of the PATH players seemed confused and asked if this was a recommendation for a future decision. The Chairman of the Commission smiled so sweetly when he told PATH that this WAS the decision.
The PATH representatives were then forced to make the walk of shame out of the building in front of celebrating citizens, who had some pretty creative praise for their efforts during the evening.
Want to know exactly what all this means? Check out this post on Calhoun Powerline. No sense in trying to repeat something that's already been written very succinctly.
If you want to spend 4 hours watching PATH squirm in their seats, you can watch a video of the meeting here.
Thanks to PATH "security" guy Jim Fields for keeping the PATH folks in line last night.
It was lovely to see PATH lose in a big, big way. It's a look of which I could grow very fond.
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