Now here we are on the other side in 2012 and none of Allegheny Energy's cries of "wolf" have come true. There never was any wolf, just an investor-owned utility who set out to make a bunch of money.
And they did it in a duplicitous fashion.
If Allegheny Energy had publicly owned all their fear-mongering, ridiculous claims of predicted future "rolling blackouts" and "frequent and extended loss of power in less than three years," while applying for approval of their for profit endeavor, they would have been in a lot of regulatory hot water. So, they created "... a coalition of businesses and organizations working to ensure that Maryland's future electricity needs are met through conservation, additional generation of electricity from traditional and renewable energy sources, and improvement of transmission capacity," so that blame for the lies and unnecessary public panic would be pinned on some phantasmic, "grassroots" group completely lacking in verisimilitude.
And they used millions of dollars of ratepayer funding to perpetrate their consumer fraud.
But, it looks like the Sierra Club's experts and the citizen opponents were right way back in 2008... dropping demand, conservation and demand side management obviated any "need" for Allegheny Energy's great transmission rip-off. There have been no "rolling blackouts," Maryland has not "run out of electricity," and no shortages are predicted for the near future. In fact, Dominion has recently shut down their Mt. Storm-Doubs 500kV transmission line, one of two major 500kV lines transporting dirty coal-fired electricity to east coast load centers, while they rebuild it to increase its capacity, but no current electricity crisis in Maryland has resulted.
However, electric customers are never going to get their millions back. That money is gone for good, into the pockets of perfidious public relations companies, charlatan former public service commissioners and other paid "experts" who parroted Allegheny Energy's lies in exchange for personal gain, industry and trade groups such as Chambers of Commerce and the WV Coal Association that joined in perpetrating Allegheny Energy's "grassroots" fraud and helped them spin it, and into the pockets of lobbyists like WV Democratic Party Chairman Larry Puccio, whose support is for sale to the highest bidder.
The claims of "rolling blackouts" were nothing but a lie.