Although these folks flocking to the forums seem to have strong opinions, they are never based on facts or research. Their opinion has already been formed and there is no reasoning with them. These folks like to complain and love to toss around one of the power companies' favorite insults - "NIMBY". Some of them also seem to throw in a technical term here and there that would be completely inappropriate for your average citizen. So, who are these guys? Some have accused them of being PATH plants. The case for this is strong:
1. They seem to have above average understanding of the transmission system, although a complete lack of knowledge specific to PATH.
2. They love Allegheny Energy & American Electric Power's "NIMBY" insult.
3. They claim to have attended and have a working knowledge of events that transpired at recent Frederick County events. However, we have never seen one person speak for PATH and encountered very few who wouldn't accept our stickers or literature. Certainly the opposition members have never been called "NIMBY" in person or had a conversation with any citizen who thought PATH was a good idea. For a bunch of people who have such a strong opinion, why would they attend these events and then sit quietly without voicing their opinion in a public forum?
4. They claim to know who was at these meetings and what was said by the opposition.
Personally, I'm not convinced one way or the other as to their authenticity. I have no proof that PATH employees spend their work time posting on internet forums, however I have it on good authority that they have been known to lurk and at least read comments.
Think of these guys as drive-by trolls and not worth your time. You can even categorize them, for some added fun. Their purpose in posting their "NIMBY" and "treehugger" comments is to draw you into an argument and waste your valuable time that you could otherwise be spending giving information to folks who have an open mind. Don't bother trying to convince them with references or facts. Ferrous Cranus has his mind made up! Just skip along. Comments on an online newspaper forum aren't going to be considered by any entity making a decision on the PATH project and are therefore irrelevant. You could try some of the tactics demonstrated in this video, if you have time and inclination to play a bit.
Wherever there is controversy on the internet, you're going to find trolls. They are perfectly harmless if you can develop the proper immunity and keep your focus. Nobody really cares what they think, and since they only exist in cyber form, they have no real meaning.
Snip, snap, snout.
This tale's told out.