Check out their website, lots of great information.
Folks in Alberta, Canada, are also being victimized by unneeded, unwanted high voltage transmission lines. Power company greed knows no boundaries, both literally and figuratively.
Check out their website, lots of great information.
On May 11, we will head to the polls to cast our votes for the Jefferson County Board of Education. This is not a primary, this is the final election for our school board.
As many of you are aware, the Jefferson County Board of Education is an intervenor in the PATH case. As many of you may also be aware, the Board did not come to the table by their own initiative, but were pressured to intervene by a massive email and telephone campaign on the part of StopPATH WV members.
Here’s something you may not know -- Once the board did intervene, they immediately outsourced the case to the law firm of Steptoe & Johnson to act on their behalf, although the board does have a full-time attorney on staff. Steptoe & Johnson submitted eight discovery questions, which were very basic regarding the location of PATH in relation to our schools. The answers to these questions could have been obtained by reading the application or docket, and that’s basically the answer they got from counsel for PATH.
Since then, there has been no activity in the case or communication with StopPATH WV, although we did make a personal visit to the board’s staff attorney to discuss the case and ways we could become cooperative parties in the case.
Recently, members of StopPATH WV attended the Board of Education candidate forum in Shepherdstown. Three distinctly different PATH-related questions were submitted for the candidates, however they were combined into one question by the moderator. The question posed to the candidates was, "The school board is an intervenor in the PATH case but has had minimal involvement in the case. Do you think the Board should take a more active role and hire expert witnesses to advise and testify during the hearings and do you think EMF is harmful?"
Incumbent Pete Dougherty stated that the Board has become an intervenor and he feels that is enough action. His money is for education only and no more should be spent on the PSC case. The Board has asked PATH to move the line away from the school and perhaps as the case before the PSC is undertaken with other parties' witnesses, and with what is happening in the VA & MD cases, the project will die and then the Board won't have "wasted" any money. In his closing he kept emphasizing how he has made our schools "safe".
Incumbent Mariland Dunn Lee's response was very similar -- she feels the board has done everything it can.
Candidate Laurie Ogden had a strong response. She thinks PATH is a bad idea and doesn't want it anywhere near a school or anyone's home. She wouldn’t want it in her backyard or near the school her child attends. She believes from studying the science that EMF is harmful. Read Ogden’s biography here http://abc.eznettools.net/D300003/X380798/Elections%202010/LaurieOgdenBio2.pdf and contact her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Candidate Karan Townsend's response was pretty much a non-answer -- I think she doesn't really know what PATH is but could be educated. In talking with her after the forum, she seems to want to be a "team" with Ogden, if elected, so I think she would approach the PATH case with an open mind. You may contact her at KaranTownsend@gmail.com
Incumbent Scott Sudduth did not attend the forum due to a prior commitment, but he has been the only one on the Board who has shown concern about PATH and testified against the project at the County Commission’s PATH hearing in February, 2009.
We hope that everyone will turn out to cast their votes for the school board on May 11 and that we may be able to change what is currently an adversarial relationship with the Board of Education into a cooperative relationship where the safety and welfare of the children and staff of South Jefferson Elementary School is of primary concern. We hope that a cooperative relationship, such as we currently enjoy with the County Commission, could result in sharing of expert witness expenses, but at the very least will result in a united front at the PSC hearings this fall.
The Board of Education is comprised of five members from various districts. You are not restricted to voting only for those from your district. You may vote for more than one candidate from any particular district. Of the five seats, three are up for election on May 11. When casting your vote, you will be allowed to choose any three out of the five candidates. The three candidates with the most votes will be elected to serve on our school board.
Remember to vote on May 11!
AEP is looking to cut its workforce in West Virginia and ten other states due to decrease in electrical demand.
Read the article in the WV Gazette.
So, why do we "need" PATH?
On April 13, the WV Public Service Commission denied Bill Howley's motion to re-open the case to intervenors for thirty days. Commissioner Staats dissented in this opinion.
Howley's motion was based on the premise that notice to affected property owners was defective. Commissioners Albert and McKinney and counsel for the applicants contend that notice was given according to the applicable statute in effect at the time of application. The statute requires that the applicants publish notice in the newspaper of record for all affected counties. In plain English, this means that a legal notice which required a magnifying glass to read was published in the legal notices area of the the newspaper's classified section. The Commission feels they went above and beyond this requirement by making the applicants publish this notice twice! Who routinely reads the legal section of their local newspaper's classified section, especially a notice with a font so tiny it required magnification? I guess Mike Albert, Jon McKinney and Phil Melick spend their evenings with such intellectually stimulating reading material, magnifying glass at the ready next to their recliners, just in case some out-of-state corporation has applied for a project that will take their properties. Does this make sense to you?
The commissioners also believe that the considerable media coverage of the PATH issue served as additional notice to affected property owners. While this may have increased awareness of the project, many affected individuals mistakenly believed that they would receive some sort of notice via U.S. Mail if they were affected so they did not thoroughly investigate PATH. And, since we're intent on following the statute, nowhere in there does it mention publicity as a form of notice to affected property owners. Does this make sense to you?
The statute that deals with intervenors allows for petitions to intervene to be submitted up until the time the case is called for hearing, unless a deadline is set by the Commission. In this case, the Commission was quick to set a deadline because they were bombarded with so many petitions to intervene so quickly after the application was filed. I get the impression from reading Commission orders that they are completely nonplussed at the thought of sharing their private, little playground normally only populated by the utility industry with the hoi polloi. They seem certain that ordinary people who are under threat of having their homes and/or ancestral land taken by eminent domain for an unneeded power line will create a "circus" if allowed to participate fully in this case and upset the status quo. Could this be why an artificially narrow deadline was established and they refuse to consider re-opening the case? Recent filings on the case docket show that Howley's motion was supported by several affected landowners who were either denied status due to late filing or were notified of the case by land agents after the deadline had passed. Although the Commission claims they will consider late petitions to intervene if the party can show good cause, they continue to deny these landowners. One landowner filed several days late due to a sudden, tragic death in the family and starting a new job just before the deadline. He was denied several times. Another landowner lives out of state and only lives at his property on weekends and was notified of PATH by a land agent after the deadline. Was he supposed to be subscribing to and reading the legal notices of the local newspaper at his weekend home? If these are not valid reasons for missing the deadline, what would constitute an acceptable reason in the eyes of the Commission? Does any of this make any sense to you?
Howley also points out in his motion that the applicants had all available information to notify affected property owners via mail long before they filed their application. It was only after the period to intervene had closed that PATH land agents began calling on affected land owners. Does this make sense to you?
Because of this entire situation, the West Virginia Legislature recently enacted a new law requiring applicants for a transmission line to notify affected property owners at least 30 days before the deadline to intervene by certified mail.
Obviously, our elected officials felt that notice in the PATH case was defective. Governor Manchin also thought notice was defective, because he signed the bill into law several weeks ago. Commissioner Staats must agree that notice was defective since he dissents with the Commission's order.
By refusing to re-open the case to intervenors for a period of 30 days, the Commission has missed an opportunity to remedy defective notice, hiding behind the fact that they are not required to do so by the new law.
The only ones who don't think notice was defective are Commissioners Albert and McKinney and counsel for PATH.
That is nonsense!
Hear StopPATH member Patience Wait on Panhandle Live on April 8th.
Yesterday, Allegheny Energy received another rate increase that's going to show up on your electric bill. This 4.5% increase will go into effect in June and is an increase to their base rate, something Allegheny says they haven't raised since 1994.
Does it really matter to your wallet whether this is a base rate increase or a fuel cost or purchased power increase? You still pay more every month.
Just how many rate increases has Allegheny had recently? Remember this one? It was just 3 months ago.
January 1, 2010
About the Author
Keryn Newman blogs here at StopPATH WV about energy issues, transmission policy, misguided regulation, our greedy energy companies and their corporate spin.
In 2008, AEP & Allegheny Energy's PATH joint venture used their transmission line routing etch-a-sketch to draw a 765kV line across the street from her house. Oooops! And the rest is history.