PATH has reverted to natural instinct and has started to crank out the PR spin through their planning puppet, PJM.
This article, Putting the brakes on build-out, in a publication going under the misnomer "Intelligent Utility," came out of the blue on Wednesday. Is there really a point to this article? Where's the news hook? There isn't one, it's just PR spin.
"However, the outlook for a slower economic recovery in that region has resulted in the line being delayed. The preliminary analysis to put the brakes on the project took into account current economic forecasts, demand response commitments and potential new generation."
Say what? The "suspension" resulted from the Virginia State Corporation Commission's Order for sensitivity studies that reflected Dominion's rebuild of the Mt. Storm-Doubs transmission line and the Warren (Va.) generation coming online. PJM had been ignoring and dismissing these projects as having no affect on the need for PATH. When cornered, PJM was forced to admit that there's no need for PATH in their 15-year planning horizon, which runs through the year 2026. It had nothing to do with the economy at all, but PJM's biased, favor-driven and inaccurate planning process.
At least this part of PJM's spokeswoman's statement was correct, "We do planning studies throughout the year and we come up with recommendations as they come in from our different members.”
DuPont-Kidd admits that planning study "recommendations" are given to them by their members, such as FirstEnergy and AEP, and not independently arrived at through an impartial analysis process. Of course the power companies are going to recommend something that stands to score them a huge profit! Duh.
Today, this wildly spinning top shot out of ClimateWire. This story, The Tale of a Survivor in the Power Line Wars, is the biggest pile of smelly offal that we've seen in a while. Do any of you TrAIL survivors remember this reporter's version of events? Looks like Behr committed one of the cardinal sins of responsible journalism... he took a press release and some canned corporate quotes and ran with it. While he did attempt balance by getting opposing quotes, notice how the industry version of the "suspension" being the product of the economy is right up front and not credited to its source so it reads like fact, while the truth about the "suspension" from PEC's Chris Miller is buried much later in the story as an afterthought? Also take note of how the opposition is painted with the NIMBY brush. ClimateWire, Behr and the copy editor/designer who came up with this headline should all be ashamed of themselves for trundling out this tripe!
Expect more of the same and recognize spin when you see it. This will continue as long as PATH's knees keep a'knocking because the regulatory tide is turning against them. Keep up the good work, folks! :-)