FERC's recent Order No. 1000 set interregional planning and cost allocation in motion. The effect of Order No. 1000 will be to enable a vast, new, interstate transmission build-out and spread the estimated costs of over $200 billion to as many electric customers as possible in order to dampen its effect and draw little attention or public opposition. This push for a "national grid" isn't anything new. Utilities such as AEP have been lobbying for a coast-to-coast transmission backbone that utilizes their 765-kV technology for many years. This national grid plan was modeled after Eisenhower's interstate highway plan of the 1950 and 60s. Just five years ago, the national grid was going to transport "cheap" coal-fired electricity to population centers on the coast with projects like their I-765 plan. Now that coal is politically gauche, the utilities have shifted the focus of the national grid to take advantage of public sentiment supporting renewables by utilizing Midwest wind as a much more palatable driver of the need for their hugely profitable endeavor. Don't be fooled, nothing has changed except the color of the sheep costume AEP is wearing.
Transmission lines don't categorize the electrons flowing through them by source. All that "renewable" wind power being transported to the coasts via this new transmission backbone will be liberally mixed with good, old fashioned, coal-fired generation by the time it reaches coastal states and ostensibly fulfills their public policy RPS goals. Land-based wind is intermittent and must be supplemented with fossil fuel generation to maintain an evenly sustained supply to the grid. It will also travel more than a thousand miles through a transmission network being constantly fed with AEP and other investor owned utilities' Ohio Valley coal-burning power generating stations. The "national grid" won't make your electric supply any "greener." The only thing getting "greener" here is the pile of money the investor owned utilities are going to rake in if they succeed.
However, interregional planning and cost allocation won't accomplish the investor owned utilities' goal all by itself. In order to get the national grid built, the utilities are going to need federally-controlled siting and permitting. This second initiative is well under way and expensive propaganda advocating for federal control that is being championed by various organizations is permeating the media and sucking away your ability to think for yourself. The industry's extensive use of the third-party propaganda technique relies on the seven common propaganda techniques: Name-calling; Glittering generalities; Transfer; Testimonial; Plain folks; Card stacking and Bandwagon.
Federal control of transmission siting and permitting will subvert your right to due process, help itself to your property through eminent domain and make a mockery out of environmental reviews, just for starters. Don't play the utilities' kindergarten games and believe that federal control of transmission siting & permitting will do anything other than grease the skids for a quick and regulation-free permitting system that will fill our landscape with unneeded, monstrous transmission towers & wires that we'll all be paying for in our electric bills for the next 70 years, or more. It will also guarantee the investor owned utilities access to a reliable supply of too-good-to-be-true profit for the next 70 years through the use of FERC-granted transmission incentives and federal cost and rate control systems that are free of oversight.
It can best be summed up by this one sentence buried deep in the Center for Rural Affairs' report on page 21.
"To this end, FERC has issued a proposed rule that would remove much of an individual state’s siting power, instead requiring transmission planning to be handled regionally."
Since they deign to insult our intelligence by using a kindergarten classroom leitmotif in their propaganda, it's only fitting that we continue the pattern in our warning to you. This is the real game we will be playing and losing if all the pieces of the investor owned utilities' plan come together with a streamlined federal regulatory process. You may not even notice that you're stuck tight in Molasses Swamp while the utilities are feasting at King Kandy's Castle until it's too late.