Coal Power Love Fest – 2005 FERC Conference
In 2005, FERC sponsored a love fest about getting coal-fired power to the east coast that included the Chairman of the WV PSC, the WV Consumer Advocate, Governor Manchin, executives from PJM, AEP and Allegheny Energy.
Here is the transcript from that meeting held at the Charleston Marriott. Everyone working against the PATH line should read it so that you know the history of the current cast of characters. You will be amazed. Well, maybe not.
I guarantee you will get lots of laughs. FERC Chairman Wood starts off with a goofy “all y’all” thinking that’s the way hillbillies talk. It goes downhill from there.
Remember also the timeline of the PATH project. In 2004, AEP joined PJM. In 2005 the FERC Charleston Love Fest was held. Also in 2005, Project Mountaineer was released by PJM with the stated purpose of moving “cheap” coal fired power from AEP/Allegheny Energy’s coal plants to the east coast. PJM’s CEO sings the praises of Project Mountaineer at the Love Fest. In 2006, PJM released its Regional Transmission Expansion Plan (RTEP) with the rationalization for TrAIL. PATH, MAPP and the Susquehanna-Roseland line.
All of the characters in the Love Fest are still around. Former WV Consumer Advocate Billy Jack Gregg is now a consultant doing work for the WV CAD. Former PSC Chairman Staats will be leaving the PSC after July 1. And, of course, Gov. Manchin, lovin’ him some power companies at the Love Fest.
Skip down and start reading at about page 49 of the transcript. That’s when the real discussion of electrical generation and transmission starts. One of the interesting things that you will see is that air pollution limits are what is driving the push for big transmission lines. FERC wanted more coal-fired power plants built near mining areas, because there was no other air pollution filling up air pollution limits in these relatively rural areas. If you can’t locate coal plants near cities, you need massive transmission lines to send the coal by wire.
FERC speakers also state that coal fired power can only compete with natural gas fired power if huge new transmission lines are built. Thus, if you want to destroy the tremendous potential of natural gas combined cycle power plants close to electricial demand, build PATH.
It’s all right there at the Love Fest.