What happened differently in the TrAIL case? It can be explained in a simple photograph which I found last night while doing a google search. If you don't recognize the characters in this photo, they are former Allegheny Energy CEO Paul Evanson, then-Governor-now-Senator Joe Manchin and FirstEnergy CEO Anthony Alexander.
I just can't help mentioning it... Evanson looks even more like Charles Montgomery Burns than ever in this photo. And what's up with his hair? Is that called the "newborn baby before they clean the crap out of his hair" look?
Here's what happened in the TrAIL case:
"The transmission headquarters was part of Allegheny Energy’s settlement with the Public Service Commission of West Virginia, one of a number of concessions the utility provided in return for PSC staff dropping its contention that the need for the Trans-Allegheny Interstate Line had not been demonstrated."
How did that happen?
“I got a call one day from Gov. Joe Manchin. He suggested that maybe we locate the building in West Virginia,” said Allegheny CEO Paul Evanson at Wednesday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony for the transmission center.
Evanson said Manchin was very persuasive as he laid out the pros of locating such a facility in the state. After carefully considering the matter, Evanson said he told Manchin that the company would locate the new facility in North Central West Virginia.
A short time later, Evanson got “another call” from Manchin. The governor suggested Fairmont as the best location.
Evanson said there were several locations, including Morgantown, under consideration, but the company hadn’t made a decision. About a week later, Manchin called him again and asked if there had been any decision about Fairmont.
Evanson said he soon realized that Fairmont’s proximity to major power lines crisscrossing North Central West Virginia made it the best choice for the transmission center.
“Three phone calls and here we are,” Evanson said.
When Manchin stepped to the podium, he joked “that it really took four phone calls, not three.”
Four phone calls. That's all it took for Joe Manchin to sell out the people of his state.
"A crowd of dignitaries laughed as they listened to Manchin’s remarks while assembled on the front porch of Allegheny Energy’s $52 million transmission facility."
While these guys were yukking it up at the grand opening, what was happening to the affected citizens that Joe sold down river? John and Janie Ives, two of the most wonderful, down-to-earth people I've ever met, were writing letter after letter to Governor Manchin, pleading for help. Manchin ignored them, afterall, he had a Transmission Headquarters Grand Opening to attend.
There, but for the grace of God, go I.