According to OATT protocols that detail the procedure for public oversight of PATH's spending, PATH had until January 3 to attempt to resolve the issues. The intent of this is for Formal Challenges, which take up FERC's time, to be minimized. It's kind of like your Mom telling you and your brother to settle your differences among yourselves before whining to her.
Whether they're just dumb or arrogant, PATH chose not to respond to their challengers in an attempt to resolve the issues. Instead, they filed a correction to their 2010 Annual Update with FERC and did not notify the challengers. Unfortunately for PATH, they got their corrections wrong. In addition, PATH chose to defend rather than correct many other egregious accounting errors resulting in over-recovery from ratepayers and completely denied any imprudent expenditures.
Because we subscribe to FERC's docket notify system, we received notice of their filing. In an honest attempt to give PATH one more chance to correct the remaining accounting errors before the January 3 deadline, challenger Ali Haverty sent PATH counsel Randy Palmer this email detailing the incorrectness of their corrections. Could she have spelled it out any clearer? It's not like we're being paid to do their accounting for them or anything. Why are the ratepayers put into this position by the complete ineptitude of a corporation who is making money hand-over-fist by tormenting the residents of three states with questionable applications for an unneeded transmission line? And FERC trusted them enough to bequeath them with the ability to use public money for their project? Unbelievable!
Yesterday was the deadline for the resolution period. PATH finally responded directly to the challengers with this letter. A few highlights:
We have resolved certain of the alleged accounting errors identified in your Preliminary
Challenges through a correction posted to the PJM website and an informational filing submitted
to the Commission on December 28, 2010. By email received on December 30, 2010 in
reference to the December 28 submittal, Ms. Haverty asserted that further corrections were
needed. We have not had the opportunity to review her email with our accountants but will do
so within the next ten (10) days and advise you if we determine that further corrections are
appropriate. To the extent that the proposed corrections identified in Ms. Haverty's December
30 email were included in your Preliminary Challenges, we disagree with your assessment that
these proposed corrections, including any other proposed corrections for alleged accounting
errors identified in your Preliminary Challenges other than those described in the PJM website
posting and the December 28 submittal to the Commission, are required.
Yes, they corrected a few of the accounting errors. This is but a drop in the bucket. They have also granted themselves a 10-day extension of the resolution period to take another look at the issues that Ali brought up in her email. Sorry, that's not in the protocols... you can't do that. You should have contacted us sooner. Hope you enjoyed your holiday vacation and all, PATH. FERC really doesn't want to be bothered having to do your simple accounting for you.
The function of electric utilities under the Federal Power Act is to render public service in a business affected with a public interest. Consequently the Commission has deemed it fair and reasonable to require customers to pay the expenses properly incurred by electric utilities in
rendering this public service. Accordingly, the Commission generally does not require that utilities seeking recovery of costs through their rates demonstrate initially that all expenditures for which they seek recovery are prudent. In fact, longstanding Commission precedent dictates that a party seeking to call the prudence of an expenditure into question must do so by adducing evidence or citing material of which the Commission may take official notice.
Yessssssssssssssssss.... we know that.
In response to PATH's letter, challenger Keryn Newman sent this email response.
And that's all I have to say about it for now. January 24 is the deadline to file a Formal Challenge. Read it here then!