Archive for March, 2011

PJM Filing Error

Saturday, March 19th, 2011

Dear Neighbors and “Kemptown” Substation Opponents,

Thank you, to one and all for your quick response to last weekend’s letter writing campaign/call-to-action for comments to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Docket #ER11-2140-001 filing #20110222-5156.  It was an overwhelming success with more than 200 letters pouring in and it shows the great power of citizens rising together!

We want to let you know that we have subsequently learned that the filing by PJM contain erroneous data regarding a 500kV substation.  PJM used an old PATH plan from three years ago which included a 500kV substation on the proposed substation location.  PJM was actually upset to learn that their filing had old information in it and is not a proper docket or proper filing.   Unfortunately, we did not learn this until after we received letters from so many of you.  We are, nonetheless thankful for your response and regret any inconvenience this caused folks.

Although this particular filing by PJM contains erroneous material, you should be aware that there are still at least THREE plans in PJM’s possession that call for utilizing the proposed Bartholows Road location for a substation.  We will provide more information regarding those plans in future communications.

Our work is far from done.  In fact, our focus needs to immediately turn to sending letters to FERC voicing our objection to PATH’s request to keep the project in ‘suspension’ for years to come and still receive the 14.3% Return on Equity (our money) on all expenditures during that time.  You can bet that PATH will be using their ‘suspension’ time to do rigorous studies of how to determine the ‘need’ and we can’t be asleep at the wheel.  A template for this letter and directions can be found at  If these letters are submitted with the same amazing response as the letters of the past several days, FERC will have no choice but to stand up and take notice!  Please make sure to voice your objections, making it as personal as possible so that they have to read each and every letter they receive!

Meanwhile we still have to confront PATH’s appeal of the Board of Appeals decision which will be heard in circuit Court in Frederick County at a date in the future.  We’ll have more details on this in the days ahead, but we want to thank everyone for their strong appearance, research, time and energy through the many hours of hearings in Frederick!  It made a huge difference as you can see by the full support of the Frederick County Government behind us!

We still have work to do and the need for our lawyer is still ahead of us, so the fundraising efforts continue. Speaking of which, we hope to see you this Saturday evening (March 19th) for the Spring Fling at Linganore Winecellars/Berrywine Plantations.  Let us know if you still need tickets!

Thank you again for a tremendous letter-writing campaign.  Let’s do it again with this next letter to FERC about the 14.3% ROE!  The incredible and quick response shows just how effective we can be!

FNP Editorial warns “Stay Vigilant”

Monday, March 7th, 2011

On March 5th, 2011, the Frederick News Post published an editorial which summarized the recent happenings around Allegheny withdrawing their PATH application in response to PJM’s recommendation.  The editorial highlights the manner in which Allegheny tried to use “heavy-handed” approaches in the local jurisdiction and how citizen opposition seemed to have little effect, etc.

The most important point in the editorial, however, was made in the final sentence.  Quoting the editorial, “Finally, we’d urge opponents to continue their vigilance. Depending on future projections for the region’s power needs, PATH could be back.”.

This battle is won but the war is not over.  Stay vigilant.

Click here to read the full article.

PJM recommends suspension of PATH project; Potomac Edition withdrawls application

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

On February 28th, PJM recommended that the current PATH project be suspended until further studies can be conducted.  The primary rationale for the construction of the PATH line was based on the analysis performed by PJM which pointed to the need for the additional power in the northeast by 2015.  More recent analysis has led PJM to the conclusion that the need for this power will likely be delayed by several years.  Click here for PJM’s recommendation and click here for Potomac Edison’s withdrawal notice as a result of this recommendation.

While this is certainly a positive development and something that should be celebrated, it should be noted that PJM did NOT recommend that the PATH project be canceled permanently.    Potomac Edison paid $6M for the farm at the proposed substation location and you can be sure they won’t let that investment go to waste.  We must still be vigilant in working to get all required entities (PSC, Frederick Zoning Board, etc.) to conclude, without exception, that the substation cannot be constructed at the proposed location even if/when the project is restarted.

As such, the Spring Fling fundraiser is still set for March 19th at 7:30 so that we have the funds to continue our legal representation.  Click here for the details of that event.  We can’t let up — you can be sure Potomac Edison won’t!

Rulings from PSC Hearing Examiner

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

On Thursday, February 24th, the Public Service Commission met to rule on the open motions before the board.  Click here to read the results of the hearing.   More information will be communicated with respect to the timeline from here as information becomes available.

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