Petitions are just starting to get circulated in Calhoun & Roane.
People are pretty stirred up. The October 17 meeting will give us a
much better idea of where things stand here.
As I say on the blog, The PSC’s actions on the TrAIL line demonstrate
that here in WV it is all political. The PSC’s TrAIL decision gives us
a pretty clear idea about what the PSC will do. Manchin will swoop in
and try to buy off local politicians with his tax on the power
companies, at least half of which will end up in Charleston. My wife
got a call the other day from the Gov.’s office asking if there was
anything they could do in Calhoun County, and she gave them an earful
about PATH. A few days later, she got an email from Manchin’s office
that obliquely encouraged her to speak out about “her concerns.” This
indicates to me that Manchin will encourage some level of public
opposition so that he will have leverage when it comes time for him to
shakedown the power companies.
The only way to get around this situation is to generate loud and broad
public opposition that is totally opposed to the construction of the
power line, not just opposing it in one area or another. Eventually,
Manchin will try to channel opposition into his plan to allow
construction of the line on his terms. We have to be so strong that we
stop the project from happening on anyone’s terms.
Right now, the PSC hearings at the end of the year appear to be our best
public way to intervene in the process. The PSC’s TrAIL decision,
however, does not make me optimistic about the PSC’s ultimate decision.
I’m sure they pushed back the date of the hearings to mid-winter to
limit public attendance and participation at the PATH hearings. If the
hearings happen in December or January, the PSC probably won’t issue a
decision for a month or so. The legislature will be in February, and
that is another avenue of public activity. Maybe we can get a
legislator to introduce a bill that would limit the power companies’
ability to build PATH. I don’t know quite what that would mean, but it
is another forum for public activity.
Let’s keep in touch.