Mike Morris, the CEO of American Electric Power, would like people to think that PATH is a done deal. He’s even suggesting that to investors.
The federal government does not approve transmission lines (unless they are entirely on federal land.) The Bush-era Federal Energy Regulatory Commission did approve the rate structure for utilities to use to recover the cost of the project from rate-payers. (That FERC “tariff” plan has itself come under fire in the federal courts.)
However, the states in question — Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia — retain the legal authority to deny the certificates of need required for utilities to construct new transmission on their territory.
PATH is being challenged by concerned citizens and elected officials in all three states.
Maryland Energy Report summarizes here six major questions about PATH that elected officials should be asking.