PJM Interconnection went into panicked, defensive mode this week in reaction to an editorial in the New Jersey Daily Record by Dave Slaperud, co-founder of Stop The Lines, an organization created to foster public awareness of the Susquehanna-Roseland power line project.
Slaperud gets it exactly right when he says:
"PJM operates the grid in New Jersey and 14 other eastern states, and is supposed to be an independent company charged with maintaining the grid’s reliability. In reality, however, PJM is a conglomerate of transmission line owners and power companies — like PSE&G — that generate electricity, mostly from coal-fired power plants to the west of New Jersey. Naturally, PJM is going to try to promote projects and policies that will generate income for their member corporations."
"The real driving force behind the Susquehanna-Roseland project is “Project Mountaineer,” a scheme hatched by PJM and the coal industry to generate more coal-fired energy from the Midwest and move it into the more lucrative markets in the Northeast. It puts profit for the transmission companies, coal-fired energy producers and the coal industry ahead of the health and safety of residents downwind of these facilities."
Just ask any citizen opposition group involved in exposing the truth behind the four Project Mountaineer projects, Susquehanna Roseland, TrAIL, MAPP and PATH. It happened, and for many citizen opponents, it's still happening. None of these projects have been officially abandoned, although three out of the four have been seriously delayed. They continue to hang like an albatross around the necks of thousands of property owners in the Mid-Atlantic, and thanks to investor-favoring construction incentives granted by FERC, continue to cost the 51 million electric customers in the PJM region millions of dollars of unnecessary cost in their electric bills every year. Millions of dollars a year are tossed into these outdated projects, from which consumers will never see any benefit.
PJM's ball of yarn is becoming unraveled at a breakneck pace recently, as their conspiracy with their most influential members and the coal industry to build superfluous transmission lines for the sole purpose of turning a profit, is exposed to a public who is now poised to accept the truth.
Slaperud has taken the offensive, and grid-manager PJM Interconnection and Susquehanna Roseland project owner PSE&G get hysterical and immediately try to publicly defend themselves. When the balance of power between corporations and grassroots groups on these kinds of projects shifts like this, it's all over but the shouting. Congratulatons, Dave and Stop The Lines! Keep the pressure on!
"Truth is like the town whore. Everybody knows her, but nonetheless, it's embarrassing to meet her on the street." -- Wolfgang Borchert, (The Outsider)