Today, AEP subsidiary Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO) withdrew its application for a permit from the Arkansas Public Service Commission, citing:
SWEPCO received a notification letter from SPP stating that updated electric load forecasts showing lower future electric demand in North Arkansas than prior forecasts for the area critical to the Facilities, and the recent cancellation of several large, long-term transmission service reservations, establish that the Facilities are no longer needed to meet the reliability needs in the region.
How are electric consumers supposed to believe a thing these transmission cartels say anymore? It's quite clear that transmission planning organizations are conditioned to simply rubber stamp the transmission building whims of their members. If nobody resists, then the project gets built.
However, the folks of NW Arkansas resisted... and formed Save the Ozarks. Under the competent leadership of Pat Costner, retired Greenpeace scientist, Save the Ozarks demonstrated that it takes a big, loud, committed, very public opposition, along with competent legal representation to defeat a transmission line. Lawyers, legal processes and polite demurral to power company public relations campaigns alone do not win transmission permitting battles. It's about making the transmission project political poison and telling the public the truth. Pat knew exactly what to do and she did it with style and dignity!
So, Congratulations, Save the Ozarks! Enjoy your victory for a few days before you start wondering about who is going to pay for SWEPCO and SPP's big "oops."
And for my "friends" at AEP... here's mud in your eye!