I’m back after a week away. As I reported earlier, FERC announced its decision on Ali’s and Keryn’s formal challenges to $5.7 million that AEP/FirstEnergy illegally charged us for their 2009 and 2010 PATH propaganda. FERC also ruled on whether Keryn and Ali had the right, as end user consumers, rather than power companies, to bring their challenges in the first place.
In both cases, FERC ruled in the WV citizens’ favor, dropping only about $100,000 in challenged costs from their case. In their decision, FERC, after waiting two years, finally set a date for hearing on the formal challenges. It is unlikely that the case will get that far, simply because FERC applies strong pressure on parties in these cases to settle before an actual hearing takes place.
This is a huge victory for citizens in PJM, because it clearly establishes our place in these kinds of cost recovery cases. In the Cheney-inspired 2005 energy policy act, the “postage stamp” cost recovery system was set up specifically to hide the real costs of new high voltage transmission lines behind lots of obtuse bureaucracy. One thing power company lobbyists tried to do in the legislation, and in FERC rule making, was to shut out average people from the process.
Keryn and Ali blew the lid off that one with their persistent and intelligent pursuit of justice. Here are more details of what happened over at Keryn’s StopPATH WV blog.