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WV Chapter Takes Action Opposing TrAILCO Powerline
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by Sally Wilts | 2007

Chapter Energy Committee takes the lead opposing the Allegheny Power's TrailCO Powerline

The Energy Committee of the WV Chapter of the Sierra Club formed a subcommittee to work on a strategic plan for opposing the TrAILCO Transmission line.

National Sierra Club has endorsed our campaign and is providing legal support from the Sierra Environmental Law Program. Chapter board member Bill DePaulo filed the petition to intervene with the WV Public Service Commission on a pro bono basis for us and is continuing with the required procedures prior to the evidentiaryhearings, which will be in November and December.

We are in the process of retaining experts to offer testimony before the PSC on better ways to assure the reliability of the electrical grid as well as on environmental and economic impacts of the transmission line. We have been communicating with other groups in opposition and have received information which will assist us in assembling our case. Bill DePaulo will prepare our witnesses for their expert testimony, cross examination of the Allegheny Energy witnesses and in preparing the initial and rebuttal briefs after the PSC hearing, which is expected to occur early next year.

Our strategic plan includes placing sample letters and background information on our website. We encourage all Sierra Club members, as well others concerned about these issues, to write letters, make phone calls and send emails in opposition. Original letters, based on bullet points we provide on the website, are more effective than form letters. The targets of the letters will be the PSC, legislators, news media, and Governor Manchin. Letters to the editor are very effective and need to be used to counter false information that is in the media.

Attending public meetings which are being held around the state will also be an important way for our voices to be heard. Many will already hav finished by November, but Charleston has several scheduled late in the month.

Fundraising will be needed to cover the costs of the expert witnesses and our attorney. A fundraising request has gone out to members in the counties directly affected by this proposed power line. The response was very favorable.

Donations can be accepted from any and all Sierra Club members however, and your contributions will go toward legal expenses and expert witnesses. Contributions are 501c3 tax deductible. Please write your check out to the Sierra Club Foundation and on the memo line of the check, write WV Chapter. Mail contributions to Sierra Club, West Virginia Chapter, PO Box 4142, Morgantown, WV 26504.

More background information on this issue can be found on page 3 of the newsletter.

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