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West Virginia is Ours! Stop Allegheny Towers!
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by Sally Wilts | 2008

TRAILCo Campaign Update: Even the PSC staff and experts agree that new Power Line is not justified by the data!

WV Sierra Club's TRAILCo Campaign Bumper Sticker

This is the bumper sticker that we had printed and distributed to opponents of the proposed TrAILCo transmission lines. Frank Young of the WV Highlands Conservancy contributed the slogan and the design.  If you’d like one or more, contact Jim Kotcon or Regina Hendrix. Donations to the campaign are still needed.

As Scott Finn, of WV Public Broadcasting, reported on December 11th, the staff of the WV Public Service Commission (PSC) have joined the ranks of those opposing the proposed power line. PSC asked its staff and two independent consultants to study the project. They all came to the same conclusion: the data doesn’t justify building a new power line. They’re telling the Public Service Commission to reject the proposed power line.

On December 5th William V. DePaulo, Esquire, submitted the Direct Testimony of three expert witnesses on behalf of the WV Chapter of the Sierra Club to the PSC. These witnesses are Hale Powell, Dr. Duane Nichols, and Dr. Jim Kotcon. Mr. DePaulo of Charleston is representing the Sierra Club in this Case. Testimony of these witnesses can be found at the following web site:
http://www.psc.state.wv.us/scripts/WebDocket/ViewDocument.cfm?CaseActivityID=228941&NotType=WebDocket
 
There are 75 pages of testimony for the Sierra Club and I found it to be very interesting reading. Hale Powell asserts that the aggressive application of a variety of demand reduction strategies would be preferable and a more economical alternative than building the transmission lines. Jim Kotcon enumerates the direct and indirect environmental impacts of the entire project. Duane Nichols’ testimony covered a wide range of issues, including the the fact that congestion can be relieved by having distributed power generation from many sources and by improving energy conservation and efficiency. He discusses the cost impact on electrical power generation when carbon dioxide emissions are regulated. “Smart Grid” technology includes advanced control systems to achieve continuous operation and avoid overload and could be used.

In January and February the PSC will hold evidentiary hearings, at which the experts are sworn in, cross examination will take place and there will be rulings on motions. After the hearings each intervenor submits a brief and then replies to the initial briefing.The PSC will then make its decision whether or not to approve the construction of the line.

There are resources to learn more and to direct your donations to this effort on our website at www.westvirginia.sierraclub.org

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