Rebuilding and reconductoring of existing lines is the smart solution to any "need" to increase power flows from West Virginia to the mid-Atlantic coastal states. We don't need new high voltage transmission lines like PATH. Rebuilding and reconductoring is much less costly to ratepayers, takes no new rights-of-way, and can be accomplished much faster than building new lines.
The power companies and their lobbyists have been fighting this Resolution since it was introduced as HCR 58 in early February. Speaker Richard Thompson sat on the original Resolution for a month, finally making a few minor changes to appease industry lobbyists, and sending it to the Senate as HCR 149 just one day before the end of the legislative session.
In the Senate, it was assigned to Judiciary, where it was expected to languish and die as the session closed. However, a coordinated group of West Virginia's PATH opposition spent their Saturday evening on the phone to Charleston, making our displeasure clear.
At nearly the last moment, Senate President Jeff Kessler, Senate Majority Leader John Unger and Senate Judiciary Chairman Corey Palumbo responded to our frantic phone calls and got HCR 149 out to the Senate floor where it was adopted. Please take a moment to thank these legislators for taking the time to correct the mistakes that were made with this Resolution at the legislature and ensuring that it got to the floor for a vote late last night.
Once again, citizen action saves the day! Thank you to every West Virginian who participated in the phone campaign last night.
Oh, and to the power companies and their lobbyists -- we remind you once again that YOU CAN'T VOTE! This will mark the third year that the PATH opposition has either defeated power company legislation or ensured passage of our own. Give up and quit wasting your (our?) money on ineffective lobbying in Charleston.