In this incarnation, Frisby claims to be a spokesman for the PATH Education Awareness Team. However, Frisby has also claimed to be the spokesman for Marylanders for Reliable Power (part of the ratepayer-financed astroturf front group network created by Charles Ryan Associates for PATH). Marylanders for Reliable Power claims not to be advocating for any particular transmission project, but yet their spokesman also moonlights for the PATH Education and Awareness Team. Could it be that his confusion about exactly who he works for stems from the fact that his pay from both groups arrives in the same check from Charles Ryan Associates, PATH's overpaid PR company ($3.1 million dollars in 2009)? And where does PATH get its money? From you, electric ratepayer, from you, every month when you pay your electric bill.
Frisby is confused about a whole lot more than who he works for though. First, Frisby gets the cost of the PATH project wrong -- Didn't Charles Ryan Associates brief him on the recent increase in project cost to $2.1 billion? (Which is a fairy tale unto itself, but not a subject for today.)
"It's not just for New Jersey", said Frisby, noting that "others" had made that statement. No, Russell, it's also for New York and other points far east and north of here, it's just not for us.
Next, "Frisby said the need for PATH is well-documented. Electricity use is up 16 percent in the region from last summer." Wow, who spun that for you, Russell? Here's the truth about that "16 percent increase". I guess Russell doesn't get out much in the summertime if he didn't notice that this summer was much hotter than last.
"Putting the lines underground, if feasible, would double or triple the cost of the project" What does PATH care about cost? The ratepayers are footing the bill! And if there really was some concern about cost, how did Russell answer this? "Wayne Six, a Rotary Club member, questioned why the utility company would pay $6 million for a farm, where the substation will be located, valued at only $1.5 million." I don't see that Frisby even answered that question.
How about, "eminent domain -- the taking of private property for the project -- would be a last resort." So, what Russell's really saying here is "give up your property voluntarily or we're going to take it from you". Where's any choice for affected landowners? How does Russell's statement make this any easier to swallow for property owners? How many times has Russell had his own property taken by eminent domain? I would hazard a guess that says NONE.
This one is pretty funny:
"Kaplan, using PowerPoint maps, showed where wind power equipment could be located off the Atlantic Coast.
"And how do you get that wind power to where it needs to go? Transmission lines," Frisby countered."
Russell, Russell, Russell, PATH is in the wrong location to transport off-shore wind power to where it's needed. Mt. Airy, Maryland, (PATH's terminus) is nowhere near the coast, and even if another transmission line were created to link Mt. Airy with the eastern shore, the other end of the PATH line is located near Charleston, WV, a state that already exports 70% of the power it produces. The east coast cities are the ones who need this wind power, and it's right there for them. A transmission line between western Maryland and West Virginia would be about as useful as a screen door on a submarine for transporting off-shore wind power.
Finally, "Frisby said berms and trees would be used to alleviate the visual impact of the substation. He said if homeowners felt they should be compensated, they could take legal action." Frisby forgot to add, "at their own expense". Gosh, what a comfort, Russell! Does this have anything to do with making money at your third job?
On the other side of the coin, Doug Kaplan's comments were factual and sensible. I call this one for Kaplan!