It's more than obvious that PATH is going to take a hit here. They absolutely cannot sustain that ridiculous rate of return and there is no chance that creation of a new proxy group in today's financial climate will win them an even higher return on equity. In order to cut their losses, PATH wants to work out a deal with the other parties whereby PATH will agree to have their rate cut by a tiny increment rather than take the risk that they will take a larger cut at FERC.
Your Consumer Advocate or Office of Peoples' Council (or whatever independent agency connected with your state's Public Service Commission) is supposed to be looking out for you -- your rights and your utility rates. That your representative would even consider going along with a deal is a perversion of the Advocate's mission. Some of these advocates are so used to rolling over and being content to be tossed a crumb now and again by the utilities making millions at the expense of those the advocate is supposed to protect, that they think a "settlement" is a win. These misguided advocates operate in their own little world, and the wishes of the consumers they represent never seem to enter into the picture. Forcing PATH to face the music is a much better course of action, IMO.
Check with your advocate to find out if a deal is in the works and let them know how you feel. Someone needs to stand up for the rights of consumers. Guess it's a "do-it-yourself" project in West Virginia, and possibly other states as well.