Saturday, January 24, 2009

Wolf issues a position on Power lines

Wolf has now jumped into the power line discussion by writing Gov. Tim Kaine a third letter asking for a response. (You know, Timmy ... who added a Dominion Power lawyer and lobbyist to the State's Corporation Commission? There's a conflict of interest if I ever saw one.)
One more reason Dominion Power is nobody's friend...unless you're a banker, or a self-centered prick.

And then onto Frank's Letter:
January 22, 2009

The Honorable Tim Kaine
Governor of Virginia
State Capitol
Richmond VA 23219

Dear Governor Kaine:

I write today for the third time in four months to again urge that you convene a meeting with your counterparts in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Maryland to set in motion discussion of an "interstate compact" process for the siting of electric transmission facilities among Virginia and these states.

As my previous correspondence noted, federal law (P.L. 109-58) allows for an "interstate compact" of three or more states to join together to create a regional transmission siting agency that has the authority to review, certify, and permit regional transmission facilities. If the states agree on a plan, this interstate compact would pre-empt federal authority. This would put the power to decide what is best for each state back in the hands of the states.

First it was the Dominion Power request before the State Corporation Commission (SCC) for the recently approved Trans-Allegheny Interstate Line (TrAIL) project, which encompasses my congressional district. Now a proposed Allegheny transmission line called Potomac-Appalachian Transmission Highline (PATH) would traverse my district.

Serious questions have been raised about the regional need for these transmission lines. A recent Washington Post analysis showed that local homes and businesses used about 2 percent less electricity in the first nine months of 2008 than they did in 2007. The power companies tout that more transmission lines are needed because of the risks of overloading, blackouts and high demand. With such reports that energy usage is decreasing, does the necessity of these lines still exist?

Where does it stop? How many separate power line projects are really necessary? Because these projects span the region incorporating the states bordering the Commonwealth to the west, north, and east, doesn’t it make sense that these states act in common interest?

I also remain concerned that specifically in the Commonwealth, the power companies may not have the citizens’ best interests in mind and are failing to keep those in affected areas informed. For example, I recently became aware that Dominion had purchased a residential property in Leesburg with the intent of constructing a 130-foot transmission pole in close proximity to other homes. I understand all the neighbors in the area were not notified, and it was only after the mayor, my office and other local officials became involved that Dominion took steps to explain its plans. This power line project was approved by the SCC last February; however, Dominion’s action appeared to be inconsistent with the SCC’s order.

Is Virginia properly planning for these transmission lines and also the potential for additional lines that threaten neighborhoods and the Commonwealth’s historic landscapes? Is the State Corporation Commission empowered statutorily to give the necessary weight to citizen concerns?

With these concerns in mind, in addition to meeting to discuss a regional compact with your fellow governors, I also urge you to convene a statewide meeting to include Dominion and Allegheny, citizens and elected officials to discuss the future energy plans in the Commonwealth. Residents in affected areas need their voices heard. The SCC regulatory process is broken and must be fixed. This meeting could look at proposals for reforming the SCC and ensure that the views of citizens are fairly weighed in the process.

I urge your personal attention to these issues of such importance to my constituents and all the people of Virginia.

Best wishes.


Frank R. Wolf
Member of Congress

Now, Timmy, if you could stop hosting illegal in-session fundraisers at the Governor’s mansion, we'd appreciate a courtesy call to the member representing the 10th Congressional District with some answers.


Patience said...

Are you working with any of the opponents of PATH in Loudoun County? Wolf spoke Friday at an interstate meeting of county supervisors and commissioners from Loudoun and Frederick counties in Virginia, and Hampshire, Hardy and Jefferson counties in West Virginia. Then there was a meeting Saturday in Shepherdstown with community organizers and environmental groups to establish a similar regional effort to fight this.

If you would like to know more, please get in touch with me.

The Bulletproof Monk said...

Sure am. I've attended the Jan 7th local meeting, the Allegheny "dog and pony" show at the elementary school, and am part of organizing an after-Allegheny Meeting to refocus what they tried to shatter on the 22nd.
I'm also working on a list of all completed solar projects that are awaiting to be hooked into the PJM power grid, instantly dropping the projected electricity usage that Allegheny(fraudulently)presented.

I'd like some help with that, and the local folks have somewhat shouldered that.

The Bulletproof Monk said...

I also am connected by a rather long history with those who were the Loudoun contingent that attended the regional meeting.
What they took from that meeting will be incorporated into our next local meeting.