Update on High Voltage Power Line Protest

I received this email yesterday regarding the proposed high voltage power lines.

Things are looking up.

“I just came from the Calhoun County Commission meeting.  The
Commissioners unanimously passed our resolution as submitted.  They all
appeared to support us without reservation, based on their comments and
questions.  There was no hesitation in the vote.  The county development
specialist also reported that the state development board, on which she
sits, was unable to come to any conclusion about the line because the
board was so divided.  They had decided to take no position on PATH as a
result.  She said that she had never seen such a hotly debated topic at
their meeting.

I will be giving the County Clerk information about the PSC for him to
submit a letter to the PATH case.

Bill”

Update – Fighting Against the Destruction of WV

The Rally against the high voltage power lines at the Arnoldsburg Community Building on October 17 was a huge success. Approximately 70 people attended. Altho the Bluegrass Band was a no-show, the alloted time was taken up with an informative power point presentation by members of CAP from Mon and Tucker Counties, an enthusiastic speaker from the Sierra Club who actually handed out paper, addressed and stamped envelopes, and pens, so that people could write to the Governor about their concerns on the spot. A short but lively speach was given by Steve Gormezano, a Roane County citizen whose land the power lines could be very near. His ending remark of “We CAN stop this thing” brought much applause.

The Mountain Party candidate for Governor, Jesse Johnson, was also on scene and spoke at length about the alternatives to supporting this power line. He is the only candidate for governor who is actively against the power lines and mountaintop removal, promoting instead sustainable energy produced by wind, hydroelectric, biomass, geothermal and solar energy.

Calhoun County Commissioner, Bob Weaver, expressed that the Commission would entertain the idea of an anti-power line resolution for the county. At this time, several citizens from the Roane/Calhoun/Gilmer areas, with lots of help from Bill Howley (calhounpowerline.wordpress.com), are putting the finishing touches on a proper resolution to be brought before the County Commission.

Bill Howley states that “Tucker, Hardy, Jefferson Counties all have copies of their resolutions filed with the WV PSC.  They are all available on the PSC Web site under the PATH case documents.  Morgan County’s Commission has passed a resolution opposing the line.  Berkeley County is in the process of passing a resolution, because one commissioner didn’t like the wording of the proposed resolution.  So in the near future there will be five counties on record as opposed to PATH.”

Here is an exclusive sneak preview of the resolution as it now stands:

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WHEREAS, the members of the Calhoun County Commission have been elected
to serve and protect the collective interest of citizens of Calhoun
County, WV, and

WHEREAS, Allegheny Energy (Allegheny) and American Electric Power (AEP)
have proposed the Potomac Appalachian Transmission Highline 765 KV
electrical transmission line to pass through Calhoun County, WV, and

WHEREAS, the PATH project is intended to deliver electricity to the
Northeastern Corridor of the United States with relatively little or no
benefit to West Virginia customers of either Allegheny or AEP, and

WHEREAS, the rights of way required by the PATH line will be a minimum
of 200 feet in width and will significantly damage and restrict land use
and value along the entire Calhoun County section of the line, and

WHEREAS, the PATH is designed to transmit electricity from existing and
new coal-fired power plants and will reduce the need for advanced
natural gas-fired generating plants both in West Virginia and in the
Northeast Corridor causing direct economic harm to Calhoun County’s
natural gas industry, and

WHEREAS, under policies of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission,
Allegheny Energy is allowed to include construction and operating costs
of the PATH line in electric rate increases for its customers in Calhoun
County, who will receive no benefit from the line, and

WHEREAS, scientific and medical research has demonstrated adverse health
effects in humans and wildlife from chemical herbicides used to maintain
rights-of-way and electrical magnetic fields generated by the line
itself, and

WHEREAS,  the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources has
documented high levels of mercury in the fish in our state the
construction of new coal-fired power plants to feed the PATH will
destroy a major state resource and pose additional health risks to the
citizens of Calhoun County and the state as a whole, and

WHEREAS, the US Department of Energy has announced that Calhoun County
lies within the National Interest Electric Transmission Corridor (NIETC)
which would eliminate the need for Allegheny Energy and American
Electric Power to perform an environmental impact study concerning the
impact of the PATH line on the environment and people of Calhoun County,
and this same NIETC designation would allow the power companies to seize
the property of Calhoun County citizens by federal eminent domain
powers, and

WHEREAS, a secure, reliable and economically efficient electrical power
system can only be assured by a decentralized power grid fed by a wide
range diverse energy sources, not by huge transmission lines fed by a
few large generating plants burning primarily coal, and

WHEREAS, by making electrical rates lower in the Northeast Corridor and
adding to increased rates in West Virginia, the PATH line will reduce
West Virginia’s attractiveness for businesses seeking to locate in the
state because of our lower cost electricity, and

WHEREAS, major programs to reduce electricity demand and create local
power generating capacity in many states in the Northeast Corridor, most
recently the state of New Jersey, makes PATH unnecessary for its stated
purpose, and

WHEREAS, PATH is an inefficient use of resources, because large amounts
of electricity on large transmission lines are lost when electricity is
transmitted over hundreds of miles, and

WHEREAS, it is likely that AEP will construct up to four new coal-fired
generating plants in West Virginia and eastern Ohio to feed PATH,
increasing the destruction of West Virginia streams, communities and
land from mountaintop removal coal mining and generating large amounts
of new air pollution that will harm the health of Calhoun County
citizens living downwind of these plants,

WHEREAS, the $1.8 billion proposed in PATH construction costs could be
better invested in improving the reliability and security of local West
Virginia electrical infrastructure and more diverse and secure
generating capacity in the state, and

WHEREAS, the proposed PATH project does not demonstrate a need to
originate or pass through West Virginia,

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Calhoun County Commission does
hereby oppose the construction of the PATH within the boundaries of
Calhoun County, WV, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Calhoun County Commission expresses its
support for and agreement with other counties in West Virginia that
oppose the construction of PATH within their boundaries.

——————————————–

At this time the most important thing you can do to help is to educate everyone you know. Many people at this point in time are still totally unaware of this issue. The other thing to do right now is to flood the Governors office and the PSC office with complaints.

The New American Way, Welcome To WV.

Sometimes I think it would be much wiser and saner to simply move into a cave in the woods. Because there is very little wisdom or sanity in this world. Even in Calhoun County WV where the crime rate is so low as to be nearly non-existent but the jails are still full, the ignorance and apathy level is thru the roof. (Is it something in the water?) Oh, but actually, there have been NUMEROUS thefts in the county lately. Huh, wonder why the POLICE are so SECRETIVE about it? Don’t they want people to know so they can be on the alert? Or maybe the police are the ones doing some of the stealing… Rumor has it that there is a cabin along the river where the cops go to divvy up the spoils… (Didn’t think I knew about that, did you boys?)

Welcome to our little piece of almost hell. The smoking ban is now in effect. Soon the remaining bar in Calhoun County will go belly up. They may be able to pull off a cig smoking ban in Charleston or Parkersburg, maybe. For a while. Until the bar owners figure out a way to fight back. But in good old Calhoun? Where the good old boys see their beer bottles in the same light as their male members? Where the spirit of the hills is still alive and well, even if the hills are slowly losing their tops just down the road a piece?

Cigarettes and beer. They go together just like soup and sandwich. I just can’t imagine a bunch of confirmed beer drinkers headed out for a night on the town without their cigarettes. If I were a drinker and a cig smoker, I’d just go to Speedymart for my fix and then head to a buddys house, get pickled and drive home drunk later. Oh yea, but be sure to toss out those empties along the roadside so the public menace-in-a-uniform does not toss you, too, into jail. After all, those empty beer cans lying along side the road will give the poor folks something to do to make a little cigarette money.

So, cigarette smokers, how does it feel to be in the same category as pot smokers? We’re all criminals now. About time someone had to share in the wealth of stupidity.

Now, as to THE ROAD.

The road, which is bad enough that it resembles a creek bed and rattles every “unnecessary” piece of equipment right off your car from driving on it, is, well, still the same as ever. By winter this road should be just about impassible. But somehow, the highway department can still find the time and money to run a brush hog along the roadside, AFTER summer is done and the weeds are dying back, anyhow. So, just like always, they come down the road and I stand there and watch. They all see me standing there. They studiously avoid hogging down the bamboo patch, same as they always did in years past, and wave as they go by.

Yes, I said BAMBOO. The bamboo patch which is annually cut back BY HAND from the roadside so that the poles can be used … The patch that was obviously roped off and taken care of. The patch which houses one of the biggest and most astounding migrations of birds in Calhoun county every year. No problem, right? Wrong.

Two days later, it’s 8:00am. Everyone in the neighborhood is still asleep. Suddenly a LOUD chopping/scraping sound wakes everyone up. The brush hog is back. The bamboo patch is attacked with a vengance. Quickly, before anyone can show up to complain. The highway department takes their half out of the middle so to speak. No warning. 15 foot right of way my ass.

I rush to stop the destruction, but it is too late. Then I am told that they “tried” to get a hold of us first, and it was “bosses orders”. But wait, I was standing right there just two days before. Did no one know how to talk that day? And last year, same thing. I was standing right there. But not one single person let me know of their intentions.

Let me get this straight. Even tho something seems to be just fine for years and no one communicates otherwise, suddenly everything changes, a special trip is made with brush hog and trucks (at extra cost to taxpayers) to do something that could and should have been taken care of by hand by the owners with highway department blessing. And the way it was done was just plain SNEAKY. Ah, but I’m told, (after the fact of course) it’s SO important to do, just in case someone comes thru there and somehow wrecks and the highway dept might get sued??? Give me a break!!!! This road is so bad that everyone who lives on it cringes every time they have to get in their cars and go anywhere, and the highway dept is worried about 5 extra feet of right of way??? But only in front of my house. SURE. Well, I figure the highway department owes a nice piece of change for the ruined bamboo poles, and the length of good rope that it was roped off with, which is now chopped into so many million pieces that I can’t even find the remains. They will get a bill. Destroying the natural habitat of about a half million migrating birds is another matter, which, I suppose, will only be judged by KARMA in the end, because nobody gives a rats ass about a bunch of birds, right? Oh yea, and you might now need to move those twenty-something year old fences too, for the sake of this extremely important 15 foot right of way, or “they might get tangled up in the brush hog…” I’ll remember that this winter when I slide off the road or bury my car in the thing that was supposed to be a ditch before it became part of the creek bed…

But the stupid buck does not stop there. A LARGE group of citizens, all the way from the Virginia border thru PA are trying to bring some sanity to the coal/electric power industry and let them know that we want CLEAN and renewable energy and all the new jobs that would come with that, and not more destruction of the state thru mountaintop removal, more blue haze belching coal plants, or huge high voltage power lines strung thru an area that can’t even get reliable LOCAL electric service, in order to serve out of state cities and keep places like NJ and MD clean and green…

Noble cause right? You would THINK so. But, no matter HOW noble the cause, already flyers informing folks of a public meeting about these issues are being TORN DOWN by the flyer nazis.

In other news, while following up on the Narcotics Anonymous fraud scandal in Roane county in which victims of the court system are ordered to attend Seventh Day Adventist Bible study being sold as a Narcotics Anonymous meeting, it is discovered that the victims just don’t care. Even tho they know it’s wrong, even tho they feel insulted and their time and gas money is being wasted, even tho it’s actual FRAUD being committed by the court system and against everyone’s constitutional rights, even tho the court system could be sued in a class action lawsuit and most likely LOSE. All the victims really care about is sleeping thru it until it’s over and not pissing off the probation officer… Score one for the enemy.

Sometimes one would think that the devil himself has been recruiting in Calhoun County. Because the order of the day is DESTRUCTION. Anything less is unacceptable. Allow the thieves to steal. Allow the corrupt cops to keep on doing their thing. Destroy the local economy, the local landscape, create distrust between the citizens and authorities. Lie, cover up, be secretive. Use and abuse. And most of all DON’T GIVE A DAMN. It’s the new American way.

More People Protesting

From VA to MD, people are protesting what has to be one of the biggest money making scams by energy corporations going on in the eastern US. Their agenda includes new power lines going thru WV, power lines going thru PA, power lines thru MD, Mountaintop removal in WV, VA, and Kentucky. New coal fired plants being built in VA.

The family of people who see thru this corporate farce is growing all up and down the Appalachians.

Here is a little story from VA…..

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DUFFIELD, Va. – Nearly two dozen supporters were still waiting late Monday for the release of 11 protesters who were arrested that morning at a power plant construction site outside St. Paul, Va.

By 10 p.m., they had been waiting for their release for about five hours.

Since the arrests, more charges were added to those announced at the protest site.

Lt. Todd Thompson, shift supervisor at Southwest Virginia Regional Jail in Duffield, said all 11 were charged with trespassing, unlawful assembly and resisting arrest. Two, Hannah Morgan and Kathleen Ruth, were also each charged with 11 counts of inciting a riot. Their bond was set at $5,000 each. Bond for the others was set at $2,000 each.

By 6 a.m. Monday, 10 of the protesters had locked themselves in place to block entrances to the site, two to gates and eight with their arms locked inside steel drums that stretched across a construction entrance to the Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center, which Dominion Virginia Power is building on the site.

The 11th person, who was not locked to anything, said she was there “to mediate for a safe and smooth process.”

“We’re here to promote a better future, in solidarity with the people of Appalachia who … are looking for sustainable jobs that are still going to be around when coal runs out,” said Kate Lally, 20, of Baltimore, Md., as she sat locked to a steel drum.

Although no one group organized the protest, participants came from across the country. Among them were members of the Rainforest Action Network, Blue Ridge Earth First, Mountain Justice, Asheville Rising Tide and Students for a Democratic Society, as well as local activists.

Two of the drums also held solar panels, which lit up a banner reading, “Renewable jobs to renew Appalachia.” The protesters’ T-shirts read, “Today’s destruction is not tomorrow’s prosperity.”

The plant opponents said they sought to stop construction of the plant, which began this summer after a long, controversial permitting process.

“This has been one of many tactics being used, only after going through all the process to no avail,” said Hannah Morgan, 20, of Appalachia, Va., as she sat locked to two of the drums early Monday.

Morgan said the plant will be one of the nation’s dirtiest, and that protesters had asked Dominion to stop construction “for our safety today, but for the safety of the community and the region at large.”

Other opponents are in the midst of legal challenges to the granting of air permits for the plant, which will burn wood and waste coal as well as run-of-mine coal.

“Dominion respects peaceful protest,” said Dan Genest, spokesman for Dominion. “However, we do not condone illegal acts such as protestors trespassing on our property, chaining themselves to our fences and blocking roads that could prevent our employees and contractors from coming to work.”

Genest said the company’s plans are to bring the plant online in 2012 regardless of any protests.

Read the rest of the article HERE.

Sneak Preview of Powerline Rally Fliers

These are printable. Click on them to see full size.