Filibustering? Is that what PPL calls the NEPA process? Just an unnecessary obstruction to their get rich quick scheme? It seems to me that many hardworking, dedicated, ethical NPS personnel have put many, many hours into doing their jobs conscientiously. Filibustering?
I'm sure PPL will be quick to point fingers at the student and accuse him of taking liberties or making this stuff up, but the truest way to see your own self is always through the eyes of an innocent. This report is the impression PPL project managers left on this kid. I guess they mixed a little too much reality into the koolaid they gave him to drink.
Here's a couple of other gems from the report:
- "The subject was covered in the North American Electric Reliability report, which concluded a major investment in electric transmission would be essential to “keep pace” with the expected 18% growth in demand." How old were the statistics they fed this kid anyhow?
- "Because the situation will become increasingly
volatile the longer the delays hold, PPL has stressed the perfection of its Preparedness, Prevention and Contingency (PPC) plan. Although PPL is responsible for all aspects of permitting, the company cannot ensure total compliance once the instructions reach the contractor. However, the existence of a well-defined plan covers any responsibility PPL shares in case of litigation." What does that mean? The company cannot ensure total compliance? It means that any violations will be blamed on the contractor and responsible individuals at the contractor level will be "reprimanded," but PPL avoids legal responsibility. This is exactly how these power companies operate. We've seen this same behavior with their land agent contractors, who violate all laws and codes of conduct in the interest of getting the job done and the purchase and option agreements signed. When a violation is reported, the power company pretends to slap the contractor on the wrist, *wink* and avoids all responsibility for the bad behavior, although this same bad behavior has been ordered by the power company. They put a legal separation between themselves and the contractor in order to avoid responsibility for their own orders to take certain actions. For its part in this charade, the contractor is paid well. Is this the kind of for-profit corporation the NPS should allow to perform construction in one of our national parks?
- "Having a well-organized permitting portfolio that is readily accessible lubricates the project and keeps compliance agencies at bay." So, it's all about showing those rabid compliance agencies that you have all the instructions (not that you necessarily follow them). It's not about following the rules, but about not getting caught and held responsible for breaking them.
- "The biggest concern the SRTP faces (outside of obtaining the overhead construction contract) is people. NIMBY protesters, environmentalists and politicians alike have rallied against the project. Some have accused PPL and PSEG of being motivated to expand infrastructure and increase transfer capacity in order to increase their market values. Organizations such as the Sierra Club and Stop the Lines! warn of the health hazards associated with high EMF levels and remind the public of the grotesque size of the towers. The electric commission determines the minimum cable height based on voltage and possible interference. In some instances, the existing line is over 90 years old and does not meet present codes. The public is often unaware of these mandates, and naturally condemns any attempt to increase the tower height. Ironically, all of the pictures comparing
the size of the proposed monopoles to existing lattice structures do not come from cited sources, and are generally homemade. The common theme throughout these opinions and complaints is their failure to acknowledge the work PPL has put in to see that the chosen route has a minimal impact on the environment and the community. Route B was chosen because 90% of the route was covered by existing easements. The snowstorm of October 2011 devastated the northeast, leading to 1.6 million power outages. It took some utility companies over a week to return power to customers. If these blackouts were to become commonplace due to electrical overloading, I would expect the opinions of many of these protesters to reverse." Those "homemade pictures comparing the size of the proposed towers to the existing" is illustrated by a piece of Sierra Club literature that looks like it was taken from a project Line Routing Evaluation. Sierra Club didn't make this stuff up! Kid, spit out that koolaid they gave you to drink, it's poison!
- "The industry knew this project was coming for fifteen years. Now one organization (NPS) holds the SRTP back from success. If PPL’s project management team succeeds in obtaining a
construction and ROW permit, construction will begin in August 2012. Too much time and money has been consumed to acknowledge any other option." Fifteen years? Gee... we've only been able to trace it back to the 2005 Project Mountaineer scam. The NPS is not "an organization," it's a federal governmental agency tasked with stewarding publicly owned resources and protecting parks from profiteering pirates like PPL. They aren't "holding PPL back from success," they are doing their jobs under federal law! And don't bet on that "too big to fail" thing, that's so last decade.
And... PPL had better NOT take this out on the student or it's going to get worse for them. Students are like sponges, and this report is what this particular student absorbed at PPL. The truth hurts!