News Flash! We are not your sacrifice zone!
In an email to the Virginia State Corporation Commission, Mark Tate, a former town council member and mayor of Middleburg, Virginia, in his (power company coerced?) support of the PATH project, attempts to convince the SCC to approve the PATH project because:
"This project that you are considering, which totals approximately 275 line miles, only impacts a small section of Virginia. The majority of the line will be in neighboring West Virginia with about 30 miles in Virginia and 20 miles in Maryland. Certainly, we can support roughly one-tenth of a project that would be so vital to our region."
So, Mark, what you're saying here is that Virginia should approve the PATH project because there is little effect there (and certainly none in your backyard in Middleburg) and it's okay to run 225-miles of transmission line through West Virginia? Is that because you think of West Virginia as your own personal sacrifice zone in order to get all the electricity you need to live your comfortable, Middleburg lifestyle? How very arrogant of you. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, Mark, but PATH will not provide you with electricity.
UPDATE: It turns out that our friend Mark appears to be the epitome of NIMBY. See this article where Mark's "Virginians for Sensible Energy Policy" was involved in the fight against TrAIL. Mark thought TrAIL was a very bad idea for all of the same reasons we now think PATH is a very bad idea. The only difference between TrAIL and PATH appears to be that TrAIL was in Mark's backyard, while the majority of PATH is in Mark's personal sacrifice zone, West Virginia. The Virginians for Sensible Energy Policy seems to have disappeared after TrAIL was approved, or maybe Mark just changed their name to Virginians for Senseless Energy Policy when he developed a sudden affinity for his former enemy, Allegheny Energy, who knows. At any rate, Mark's reason for fighting TrAIL has now been outed. It appears that it wasn't about sensible energy policy at all, it was all about NIMBY. I find that quite repugnant and lacking in character.
Next, let's look at an op-ed in the Baltimore Sun penned by Federico Pena, COMPETE Co-Chairman *cough, astroturf, cough*.
Pena says, "PJM Interconnection, the regional power grid operator, has authorized a series of investments in new transmission lines that will allow states with excess generation to transmit their surplus power to areas where it's most needed, including Maryland. None of those plants were paid for by Maryland consumers, but they will benefit tremendously."
Thanks, Federico, you're a real pal. You think it's a great thing that the citizens of Maryland can benefit from coal-fired power shipped from West Virginia via new transmission lines because it doesn't cost them a thing. What do you think those transmission lines cost West Virginians? Why do you think the citizens of Maryland should benefit at the expense of the citizens of West Virginia? Where did you get your sense of entitlement... was it on sale at Williams-Sonoma? It can't be based on your intelligence because those transmission lines ARE BEING PAID FOR BY THE CITIZENS OF MARYLAND. The $2.1 billion PATH project is being paid for by Maryland ratepayers, along with ratepayers from 12 other states and D.C., so I guess it is paid for by Maryland consumers after all. Does this mean the great deal is off?
What makes you arrogant fools believe that it's okay for West Virginia to be your sacrifice zone in order to provide you with all your creature comforts at no cost to you?
Open your eyes! It's not okay to kill us and ruin our environment for your own convenience! West Virginia is providing you with coal-fired electricity via an increasing number of high voltage transmission lines hundreds of miles long. In order to do so, we blast the tops off our mountains, which causes an environmental disaster of monumental proportions. It not only destroys our land, it fouls our water, poisons our citizens and destroys our communities. Mountains are not a renewable resource... they won't grow back once destroyed. Those transmission lines take property from our citizens and once constructed, living in close proximity to them causes health problems. We also mine and export tons and tons of coal for your convenience. This dirty, dangerous industry is killing us, but it is sometimes the only job that pays a living wage and coal holds our citizens hostage to a lifetime of hard, dirty work that ends up killing them. We're also home to your chemical plants and dirty, stinking industry that you don't want to be burdened with because you're trying to clean up your own environment, which you fouled generations ago. We're also home to the latest gold-rush -- Marcellus shale -- which takes our land and fouls our air and water. We're not personally profiting from all this sacrifice we make on behalf of the rest of you. Oh no, all the outrageous profits from this rape and plunder go into the coffers of out-of-state corporations.
When are you going to do your part to support your own habits and convenience, Mark and Federico? We're not going to continue the sacrifice indefinitely. We're sick of it! Many West Virginians are working toward putting an end to this continual sacrificing of ourselves for you while receiving nothing in return. This is being accomplished by cleaning up our political house to get rid of those politicians being paid to look the other way by those out-of-state corporations who are killing us and stealing our property. We are gathering in increasing numbers to stop the massacre of West Virginia's citizens and environment. And we're mad as hell!