So, what does this mean for the PATH project? Dunno, but let's have a little fun speculating. FirstEnergy's spokesperson said, "the immediate task for FirstEnergy is the transition, rather than ongoing projects such as the Potomac-Appalachian Transmission Highline." Right away it becomes a lower priority, while they're busy with, "...layoff of Allegheny workers. Typically, when corporations merge, the new company tries to eliminate duplicative departments and other back office employees." I also read something somewhere that prattled on about retention being related to job performance... Ut-oh, fellas! So, does this mean that Karma is going to pay a little visit to some of our favorite friends in Greensburg? If so, it couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of... *insert inappropriate word here*. More importantly, does this mean we're going to get some fresh meat? I hope so! I do so love variety and challenge. Our current crop is getting kind of boring, don't you think? I hope FirstEnergy has a little more variety for us... the middle-aged, nerdy-looking, white guys have been a little thick on the ground over the past 2 1/2 years and, honestly they're all starting to sort of look alike. Allegheny's website says the merger will provide, "...expanded opportunities for employees." Could this include the "opportunity" to stand in the unemployment line?
The Greensburg building is going to be turned into a regional headquarters for "West Penn Power" (what's up with the shell company names, can't they help themselves?) Maryland's regional headquarters will be in Hagerstown under the name "Potomac Edison". I wonder if those Frederick County Chamber guys who brown-nosed so shamelessly at the merger hearing last fall are now properly chagrined? In West Virginia, it's going to be called "Mon Power" and headquartered at the "new" transmission headquarters in Fairmont that Allegheny used as a bribe to get their TrAIL project approved in this state. So, which state gets the PATH project group? I guess it doesn't matter, as long as it's WV or MD so their employees can have new and expanded "opportunities" to end up with a transmission line in their own backyards. Word: Remember, none of the merger costs are going to be dumped on the ratepayers. So none of those overblown "relocation" fees Allegheny is famous for will end up in the PATH project revenue requirement, right? We'll be sure to keep you honest, just in case.
So, FirstEnergy, welcome to the party! It's nice of you to come and lend your corporate name and reputation to the slaughter. Allegheny Energy and AEP have already sacrificed theirs for the PATH cause. I promise that you'll soon find yourselves going to places that you never thought possible, and the ride will be anything but boring! What a heartwarming, little welcome you've prepared for us on your website! I thought it a matter of proper etiquette that I respond in kind:
Who are the PATH opposition?
Your opposition is a diverse group of landowners chosen by the PATH project when they drew a line on a map, as well as other concerned citizens and electric ratepayers in 13 states and the District of Columbia. We are dedicated to stopping PATH, exposing you for the liars you are and grassroots organizing excellence. Headquartered Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia (might as well be honest, we're everywhere!) your opposition comprises the nation’s largest transmission line opposition group and is based on serving thousands of landowners and concerned ratepayers in the tri-state region and beyond. Its diverse opposition fleet features REAL grassroots opposition, bad PR for you, having your "events" turned upside down, occasional embarrassment opportunities, and the joy of being proven wrong constantly and lots of corporate bad will, and has a total generating capacity of unlimited slippery banana peels strewn in your "path".
What Does Being a PATH Parent Mean to FirstEnergy?
We’re excited about your new parenthood of this bouncing, baby transmission line project and hope you are, too. We consider it a privilege to continue to kick the PATH project in the teeth under new management, and look forward to enhancing that service as part of a larger, stronger, louder opposition.
Initially, you won’t notice many changes to your daily lambasting or in how you spy on us. You’ll still rely on the internet, the press and public meetings to provide you with our project-killing service, wreck your carefully laid plans and make fools out of your public relations contractor. However, over time we hope you will notice positive changes, including a realization that your project is never going to happen.
As we begin to implement efficiencies and best practices as a result of your merger, we hope you’ll see other benefits, including faster laughter and finger-pointing following major screw-ups on your part, better use of your own processes to thwart you over the long term, and more support for our mission to make sure your greedy, little project never happens.
We are proud to be part of your nightmares and remain committed to providing you with the high-quality service you expect and deserve. As always, please contact us if you have questions, problems or issues about your lack of traction with project approvals that you would like to discuss. We look forward to being your PATH project opposition provider for many years to come.