Worse yet, Transource wasted OUR money on this biased trash.
Who was this study supposed to impress? Local economic development folks, county government, maybe the state regulators?
Transource spokeswoman Abby Foster said "...the study was requested by Transource to provide the community answers for the benefit related to the company’s role in this project. If the study is requested by the PUC, Transource will provide it."
Transource's economic impact study is not balanced. While it makes grandiose claims of jobs, tax payments, and economic riches, it recognizes absolutely no detriments that will come with the project. Land devalued by the transmission project will result in a decreased tax burden for the landowner (because, hey, landowners, Transource only wants an easement across your land, you still pay all the taxes for the land Transource uses!). Where is the lowered tax revenue produced by lower assessed values added into Transource's economic study to balance against the unsubstantiated claims of increased tax revenue? It's not! Soil compaction and construction work can impact crops for years to come. Less revenue from crops, less money the farmer has to spread around hiring help, purchasing new equipment, and spending in his own community. Where is this decreased local spending and fewer jobs added to the study to balance against Transource's claims of new jobs and local spending? It's not. Transource's economic impact study is a one-sided picture of how things could be if the detrimental economic impacts of the transmission line on the community were not considered. It's complete and utter crap.
Transource's press release said...
An independent economic impact analysis projects the Pennsylvania and Maryland counties involved in the Transource Independence Energy Connection (IEC) project will benefit from construction of the estimated $230 million project.
If you can find the actual study, you can be informed that Brattle created it using IMPLAN software. What's IMPLAN?
NOW ANYONE CAN CALCULATE ECONOMIC IMPACTS
Since it has completely failed to convince the communities of anything, I guess Transource plans to use it on regulators. Except the regulators are looking for an actual need to construct the project. I mean a real need, not some made up "benefits" that the community doesn't "need." Do we build transmission because a community needs a certain number of jobs or a certain amount of tax revenue? No, we only build transmission when there is an electrical NEED for the project. Jobs and tax revenue don't create NEED for a transmission project.
Maybe there really wasn't a NEED for this economic impact study. But how else was Transource going to create a set-up to trot out the union guys? The union guys show up on every transmission project. They are a transmission company's "go to" to create false advocacy for a project. What occurred behind the scenes that suddenly inspired union guys to make videos shilling for this transmission project? Was there a project labor agreement? Did the union guys get some contract perk in exchange for their support? If not, they should. Other union guys have gotten these things in the past in exchange for their advocacy for a transmission project. Don't sell yourself short, union guys. You can make AEP pay dearly for your support.
Not that it does much good either. Because a short-term job for a union guy also isn't a need to build a transmission project. Are we supposed to build things we don't need just to create jobs? I admire people who work hard for a decent living, and I support union workers who band together to demand better working conditions from giant corporations. But this -- selling yourself out to support a giant corporation intent on destroying your neighbors and your community? Doesn't that go against everything you fight for on a daily basis?
And the sad part is that Transource will use one of a handful of specialized transmission construction contractors in the U.S. These construction companies have their own workers who will be imported to your community to fill the jobs that are created. Now maybe these workers are union, but does it provide local union guys with a job? Nope.
And one final word about all the "tax revenue" this project will supposedly create. Not that I believe your numbers at all, Transource, but who ultimately pays your taxes for you? I do. Every electric ratepayer who will get a bill for the cost of this project pays a share of any local "taxes" you pay. So it's not like you're actually paying the counties anything, you're merely proposing to redistribute the wealth of others.
Maybe this kind of idiocy works on other communities, but it doesn't work on the Transource Independence Energy Connection.
Quit wasting my money, Transource!