WV Citizens Stand Up to PATH at FERC

Keryn Newman and my neighbor Ali Haverty have filed their responses to AEP/FirstEnergy’s attempt to stop their valuable challenge to the power companies’ continuing additions for electric rates from the dead PATH power line.

AEP/FirstEnergy continue to file cost recovery claims at FERC that will result in higher electric rates for everyone in PJM Interconnection for decades to come.  Newman and Haverty are the only rate payers among millions who have stood up and challenged the power companies at FERC.

FirstEnergy lawyers have been trying for make the tenacious West Virginians disappear with a motion to dismiss their Formal Challenge.  You can see Newman’s and Haverty’s responses here.

Note in the responses that FirstEnergy cited a case that they claimed supported their argument, when it actually supported the Challengers’ position.  This is the kind of legal work your electric rates are paying for.

Haverty and Newman also caught FirstEnergy breaking its agreements with the WV PSC and the MD PSC not to bill rate payers for the Allegheny/FirstEnergy merger costs.  This is from one of Keryn’s current FERC filing:

… participation in this year’s Annual Update review has led to the identification of expenses related to the Allegheny Energy/FirstEnergy merger that were recovered from ratepayers in contravention of Merger Settlement Agreements
with both the West Virginia and Maryland public service commissions. The identification of this incorrect practice has led to a credit of over $1 million in both PATH’s and TrAILCo’s Form No. 1 filings in 2011 as the merger costs were corrected to an income deduction account that is not recovered from ratepayers.

Keryn also caught FirstEnergy attempting to include the costs for a lobbyist in their PATH rate increases, something that is contrary to FERC cost recovery protocols.  Again, this is from Keryn’s current filing:

In response to a series of questions regarding the expenses of a subcontracted consultant whose costs were passed through in an invoice to PATH from contractor Charles Ryan Associates, the following dialogue occurred:

“3. Is Larry Puccio an attorney?
PATH Response: No.
4. Is Larry Puccio a registered lobbyist?
PATH Response: The PATH Companies object to parts 2.a, 5.b, 7.b, 9.a.3, 9.a.4, 9.b.1, 9.b.4, 9.b.5, 9.b.6, 9.b.9 and 9.c of this request on the grounds that they are unreasonable and overbroad, constitute an undue annoyance, burden, harassment and oppression, seek information that is beyond the scope of discovery and review set forth in the PATH Formula Rate Implementation Protocols, and are irrelevant and not reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of
relevant information.”
If PATH could determine that Larry Puccio is not an attorney, they could also determine that he is a registered lobbyist with the same ease, however lobbying expenses are not recoverable through PATH’s Formula Rate. PATH chose to object instead of answering this question.

It would have been much simpler, and less expensive for us rate payers if FirstEnergy’s lawyers just cooperated with the perfectly legal attempts by two citizens to find out how much AEP/FirstEnergy are cheating us.  Power company lawyers have to play their games, while they waste our money.

FERC needs to kill the PATH zombie now and stop all rate recovery.  That is the simple solution to this costly charade.

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