I came across this article recently. In it, the author claims that, "utility customers are mad as hell." He's right, but he also thinks that he can fix that for any willing corporate benefactors. In fact, he can't. While he does make one interesting observation down near the end of the article, he's about as clueless as his financiers.
Egan says, "Utilities have the tools and opportunities to respond effectively when they are targeted by guerrilla protests, but utilities face significant organizational challenges. Historically, they have been unable to move as quickly as protesters and are uncomfortable with the kind of direct confrontation espoused by activists."
This is a correct statement, and a weakness we discovered and exploited early on in the PATH battle. I disagree that they "have the tools to respond effectively" though. PATH was left with drool dripping off its collective chinny, chin, chin on numerous occasions. My personal favorite was watching them stare in disbelief from behind the lobby doors as we marched onto the sidewalk in front of their Frederick office 10 minutes before their "media event" that we weren't supposed to know about, and the press came running like Pavlov's dogs. Their ineffective response was to attempt to strong-arm the press away from us. Wrong! It set the tone for what was ultimately a complete and utter public relations failure in Frederick County, Maryland.
The PATH project ignited a fire in the hearts and minds of thousands of citizens in three states. Other unneeded transmission boondoggles have had the same effect in other states.
Constant electric rate increases that result in increased corporate profit have also awoken a sleeping giant. In Ohio, PUCO's recent tossing out of AEP's rate increase served only to empower the consumers. AEP and PUCO will never be able to stuff that genie back in the bottle. AEP is now a dead man walking in their home state.
West Virginia consumers are joining forces in record number in response to out-of-control rate increases and a lack of utility performance.
In Boulder last year, the citizens voted to kick energy giant Xcel to the curb and form their own municipal utility.
America is fed up with the corporate elite in general. We know who you really are, and what you're really doing. We're never going back to subservient ignorance of your money-making machinations to manipulate the masses.
The consumers are mad as hell. Changes are coming. The utilities can adapt or face extinction. We're not going to take it anymore.