Monday, February 28, 2011

The Death Knell for PATH?


This morning, the regional electric grid manager, PJM, issued a statement saying that they've ordered development of the PATH transmission line to halt.

(As a reminder, "PATH" is a multi-billion dollar proposal to build a 275-mile long 765-kV transmission line starting at the Amos coal plant in West Virginia, through West Virginia, Virginia and Maryland. In Virginia, it would have crossed through Frederick, the tip of Clarke, and Loudoun counties, and in that process, it would have given Virginia ZERO voltage) The whole process of the latest bid is covered here and here....

PJM cited the results of new tests that had been ordered by the Hearing Examiner assigned to the case by the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC). These were probably prompted by this news.

The new tests required PJM to use the most current economic forecasts and Demand Response commitments, as well as incorporate potential new generation resources:

"Preliminary analysis reveals the expected reliability violations that necessitated PATH have moved several years into the future. Based on these latest results, the Board has decided to hold the PATH project in abeyance in its 2011 RTEP. The Board further directs the sponsoring Transmission Owners to suspend current development efforts on the PATH project..." ~Statement of Terry Boston, President and CEO, PJM

In the PATH case, the push for a better analysis was joined by the SCC staff, allies at Sierra Club, and countless citizen intervenors across three states. Hats off to the Virginia SCC for ordering the additional tests, and to everyone who has stayed involved, written a letter, passed a resolution, spoken at a public hearing or made a donation to support the Piedmont Environmental Council's work on energy and transmission.

Having been involved in a number of transmission line fights over the past 5 years, it's really gratifying to see something go the way it should, versus the way the utility wants. There is always the chance that PATH will reapply, but today is a very good day.

I'm very pleased that the actual numbers and facts are bearing out what I've said from the start. PATH has been , and continues to be, all about profit....yours and my property rights be damned.

Updated: In response to the announcement, PATH has dropped the application.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Congratulations, Mr Sparbanie.


My good friend, and Precinct Operations Chairman of the LCRC thru the tremendous 2010 election year, Tim Sparbanie has embarked in further service to his neighbors and friends as the latest member of the Lovettsville Town Council.

Congratulations, Tim.
Do us proud, and keep in touch!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Excellent thoughts on ethnic perceptions.

Glad I caught this one, on an otherwise very busy day where I might have missed it.

The author of this piece makes an excellent case for addressing the misperceptions about African Americans and which party truly serves their interest with more verified authenticity.

More LAME DUCK parting gifts...

Seems that Virginia's Senator is throwing in the towel after his particularly unpopular vote against Repeal of the travesty of Government administered healthcare.

In coverage of this breaking event, Virginia Virtucon adds the possibility of Tim Kaine filling the void for the Democrats. That'll be interesting as well. Kaine had allowed the amassing of almost $3BIL into the back halls and far corners of VDOT, while imposing further taxes to fleece the taxpayer for more.

Seeing a pattern here? Democrats pass something, obviously against the will of the People, and then facing overwhelming tides in re-election, they suddenly "decide" not to embarass themselves by adding a defeat to their already damaged reputations.
One has to wonder if that logic is from the top down, or the bottom Stevens Miller, Susan Buckley, and Sally Kurtz have all stepped out of the upcoming Supervisor's races. One can further rationalize their votes for the travesty and land grab of the CBPO by relating that they won't have to run for the office afterwards.

In Miller's case, this may backfire, because he's indicated a desire for a higher office that will probably contain some of the same folks he tried to screw over at a county level....and one can suppose that he thinks that folks will just forget his abysmal record as a Supervisor.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Land Grab still in the works.

Amazingly, Some of the Supervisors STILL DON'T GET IT.
The American People saw a Congress full of blowhards and thugs who bribed, bargained and conducted business out of sight to deliver draconian and unconstitional law onto the People's backs. What came next was predictable.

Evidently, these turds seem to think that they are immune to that backdraft.
Here's a call to come out and do it again. Pressure needs to be applied to this issue. When and if they actually are stupid enough to pass it --- there will be MORE THAN ENOUGH help out there to get rid of them. There will be more than enough support to repeal this turd.
Expect another venue demanding that Laura Edmunds resigns or is canned.
I expect county employees to perform their dutues without bias, and definitely without lying to me.....since I'm paying their salaries.

Loudoun Environmental Council update
Supervisor York’s Comments & LEC Efforts Shift Momentum Against the CBPO

Leesburg, Va. – At the February 1 Board of Supervisors’ (BoS) meeting Loudoun County staff member Laura Edmonds gave a lengthy presentation on the merits of the Chesapeake Bay Protection Ordinance (CBPO). BoS Chairman Scott York responded to her presentation by stating, “The Plan does not do anything to protect water (streams) or to clean the water going into them...All you are doing is taking a land grab...I’m not voting for the Plan.”

Loudoun Environmental Council (LEC) volunteers frequently encountered opinions similar to Mr. York’s while going door-to-door in three county supervisor districts educating property owners on the ordinance.

Chairman York conducted an online poll that asked constituents whether or not to proceed with the CBPO. As of February 1, over 70% of the respondents voted no. After carefully weighing the science and the economic impact of the ordinance, the Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Commission, Farm Bureau, wine industry, realtors, and nearly 90% of the homeowner association stakeholders now oppose it. Of the 50 homeowners who spoke on the subject at the BoS’s public input session on January 18, 84% voiced their strong opposition to the ordinance. Additionally, every single member of the public who spoke about the issue at the public input session on January 31 spoke against the ordinance.

LEC founder Roy Jacobsen adamantly stated, “The proposed ordinance has little or nothing to do with the Chesapeake Bay and will not work to clean our rivers and streams. It deprives the suburban homeowner, the farmer-- and even HOAs -- the use of their own land. It imposes unreasonable regulation, and worse, liability for actions the average person would not realize violated any law. The EPA and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) agree these proposed regulations are not necessary.”

Despite the evidence of public opposition, several supervisors insist on pressing forward with the CBPO. The LEC plans to step up its grassroots efforts to enable citizens to voice their own educated opinions on the issue. A petition opposing the CBPO can be accessed online at

Further debate and BoS action on the CBPO was put off until the next business meeting on Tuesday, February 15, 2011. Concerned citizens are welcome to attend and participate at a public input session on Monday evening, February 14, 2011.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


30,000 scientists. 9,000 PhD's......

More State Autonomy...

"Going back a few years, do you remember the National Interest Electric Transmission Corridors, aka, the NIETCs? These corridors made it possible for utilities to use federal eminent domain (or threaten to use it) for the siting of transmission lines."

Recently, the PEC won a 9th Circuit Court case against the Department of Energy designations -- and as of the first day of February, they're gone!
The 9th Circuit Court eliminates the corridor designations, ruling that DOE failed to conduct an environmental review as required by the National Environmental Policy Act and failed to consult with affected states. Included is a quote from the opinion:

"We determine that DOE failed to properly consult with the affected States in conducting the Congestion Study and failed to undertake any environmental study for its NIETC Designation as required by the National Environmental Protection Act (“NEPA”), 42 U.S.C. § 4332(C). We also determine that these failings were not harmless errors. Accordingly, we vacate the Congestion Study and NIETC designation and remand the cases to the DOE for further proceedings."

While this doesn't change things for those who are being impacted by the 500-kV TrAIL line, going forward, it takes away a major power company advantage, and could have a big impact on future transmission line proposals, including the 765-kV PATH line proposal currently under review.

This also signals a diversion from the liberals who support PEC, in that they have accepted a State Court protecting the autonomy of the State's right to protect it's citizens from the advances and over-reach of a Federal this case, the Department of Energy.

Stay tuned. This news, on top of already bad news is just another brick around PATH's proverbial neck.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Black History Month begins....

courtesy Wikipedia

February 1st begins Black History Month. For the first of what I hope are many installments, I want to focus on a man who did so much to elevate himself from his humble beginnings.
I admire Frederick Douglas. He was the original "grassroots" cultivator....having outright rejected John Brown's more violent actions for those actions that made a real difference in the end. It probably also saved Douglas from being present at the gallows where Brown was hung....and kept my forefather, Dr. Thomas Settle, from feeling for his pulse to declare him dead, as he did with John Brown.

No sir....Douglas took the higher ground, and worked within the system (and below it to the degree of running the underground railway)towards the freedom of all of his fellow blacks. He is the epitomy of dedication, and I respect his adherence to that task.

"I would unite with anybody to do the right thing, and nobody to do the wrong thing"

Here's a fellow blogger's post regarding this great fellow.