Saturday, February 28, 2009

Perhaps we're getting somewhere on PATH


Evidently, Chris Miller and Bri West of the PEC met February 26th with Sen. Webb at Webb's request, because his office is getting swamped with letters and appeals from PATH opponents! So Webb asked PEC to give him a briefing on PATH. Grass roots action is paying off.

With this persistence by the people, we're building enough resistance in the State to push the Senators to have to investigate this. If they do that honestly, they'll see that the need for that transmission corridor is flawed, and that usage data does not support the claims of Allegheny.

Proposed federal transmission line legislation will be key to this discussion. Miller will talk to Webb about major problems with proposed federal legislation to be introduced by Sen.Reid that seeks federal approval of transmission lines over state objections. Utilities push hard for a "streamlined/one stop" approval of transmission from dirty coal generation to be included within the smart grid approach designed for renewables and clean generation. Agreed, states do a miserable job with transmission lines; W Va. approved TRAIL after it received $100 million from Dominion. VA's SCC approved TRAIL after Dominion bought out the natural gas generating company that would have made TRAIL unneeded. And Dominion "owns" Va's legislature's majority.

Federal transmission line preemption could only serve public interest if it required full compliance with NEPA and its requirements for programmatic and project impact statements and public participation and inter agency review concerning need, alternatives, and impacts. Including that process explicitly could be a major improvement over what we now have at the state level, but utilities will fight that tooth and nail.

Miller has already met with Carol Browner, WhiteHouse global warming guru, and briefed her on PATH and the travesty of linking it's archaic nature with new technology in wind and solar power transmission.

AEP has asked Loudoun County to "release" the open space easement it holds on the property in Rivers Edge so that it could use that right of way. This, of course, would be terrible precedent and cannot be allowed. It's an action that would facilitate PATH in contradiction to the Board's PATH resolution, passed last week.

So, keep those letters going to Warner, Webb, and Kaine for a comprehensive analysis of PATH's need, alternatives, and impacts. Freedom to enjoy ones home and property is a basic American right. That right is now being taken away without justification and without meaningful opportunity for public engagement. The laws and the process of decision making are biased and corrupted by narrow utility interests. It's past time for our government representatives to represent citizens. Call them to accountability, now.

UPDATE: Apparently, Congress is getting nervous about private ownership and State control.
In what appears to be another direct move pulled from socialists, they're now intending to block State's control of their own interest and install a Federal Gov't act to run right over State's rulings.
We don't need no steen-king State Regulators

We're going to have to do this ourselves.

Sen. Mark Warner
Sen. James Webb

Governor Tim Kaine Email here

1 comment:

The Bulletproof Monk said...

It appears that Harry Reid is attempting to overrule those who's properties are directly affected in Allegheny's push for slapping aside any resistance the State would offer to them.From the article referenced in the update:

"Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said he will soon introduce legislation that includes giving federal regulators authority to override states on electric grid placement decisions as part of a package of energy proposals the Senate is expected to take up in the coming weeks.

"We cannot let 231 state regulators hold up progress," Reid said, referring to the members of state public utility commissions that decide on transmission locations in the states."