Power corporations American Electric Power (AEP) and Allegheny Energy (AYE), backers of the Potomac-Appalachian Transmission Highline (PATH), would like investors and rate-payers to think that this “coal by wire” plan is a “done deal.” Nothing could be further from the truth.
Construction on the project cannot begin without the approval of public utility commissions in three states. Here’s a round-up of recent action.
In West Virginia, a prairie fire of individual intervenors — more than 250 — has startled the West Virginia Public Service Commission. Six of the state’s county commissions have intervened. The WVPSC’s first public hearing on PATH is set for Monday, August 10. Residents facing the loss of their land through eminent domain want to know how the state will benefit from a project that provides no new electricity to West Virginia rate-payers.
In Maryland, the state’s Public Service Commission asked some very pointed questions about the PATH application at their first hearing on Friday, July 31. At the very least, more time will be needed to resolve key legal issues. The PATH education effort has hit YouTube.
In Virginia, PATH opponents turned out in force at a public hearing of the State Corporation Commission in Winchester. Republican Congressman Frank Wolf led those voicing opposition.
The PATH project is the unfortunate result of a distorted and irrational regional transmission planning process.