(06/17/2009)
A public informational meeting regarding the PATH power line that will now cross southern Calhoun is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Upper West Fork Park.

The power company originally indicted the line would cross on a current right-of-way that starts at Rocksdale, going through Hur, Pine Creek, and Grantsville to Gilmer County.

The giant-tower transmission line could be located within a ten mile wide radius designated by the power company, and could affect residents in nearby Clay County.

Landowners rights should be of vital concern to Calhoun residents. They are encouraged to attend Friday's meeting.

"Maps, general information and discussions about what we all can do together and as individuals will be provided," according to Ali Haverty, one of the organizers.

See   Calhoun Power Line

The Calhoun Commission joined a number of WV counties in passing a resolution regarding the PATH project, listing multiple reasons:

WHEREAS, the members of the Calhoun County Commission have been elected to serve and protect the collective interest of citizens of Calhoun County, WV, and

WHEREAS, Allegheny Energy (Allegheny) and American Electric Power (AEP) have proposed the Potomac Appalachian Transmission Highline (PATH) 765 KV electrical transmission line to pass through Calhoun County, WV, and

WHEREAS, the PATH project is intended to deliver electricity to the Northeastern Corridor of the United States with relatively little or no benefit to West Virginia customers of either Allegheny or AEP, and

WHEREAS, the rights of way required by the PATH line will be a minimum of 200 feet in width and will significantly damage and restrict land use and value along the entire Calhoun County section of the line, resulting in declining real property tax revenue for years to come, and

WHEREAS, the PATH is designed to transmit electricity from existing and new coal-fired power plants and will reduce the need for advanced natural gas-fired generating plants both in West Virginia and in the Northeast Corridor causing direct economic harm to Calhoun County's natural gas industry, and

WHEREAS, under policies of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Allegheny Energy is allowed to include construction and operating costs of the PATH line in electric rate increases for its customers in Calhoun County, who will receive no benefit from the line, and

WHEREAS, scientific and medical research has demonstrated adverse health effects in humans and wildlife from chemical herbicides used to maintain rights-of-way and electrical magnetic fields generated by the line itself, and

WHEREAS, the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources has documented high levels of mercury in the fish in our state caused by emissions from coal-fired power plants, and the construction of new coal-fired power plants to feed the PATH will destroy a major state resource and pose additional health risks to the citizens of Calhoun County and the state as a whole, and

WHEREAS, the US Department of Energy has announced that Calhoun County lies within the National Interest Electric Transmission Corridor (NIETC) which would eliminate the need for Allegheny Energy and American Electric Power to perform an environmental impact study concerning the impact of the PATH line on the environment and people of Calhoun County, and this same NIETC designation would allow the power companies to seize the property of Calhoun County citizens by federal eminent domain powers, and

WHEREAS, a secure, reliable and economically efficient electrical power system can only be assured by a decentralized power grid fed by a wide range diverse energy sources, not by huge transmission lines fed by a few large generating plants burning primarily coal, and

WHEREAS, by making electrical rates lower in the Northeast Corridor and adding to increased rates in West Virginia, the PATH line will reduce West Virginia's attractiveness for businesses seeking to locate in the state because of our lower cost electricity, and

WHEREAS, major programs to reduce electricity demand and create local power generating capacity in many states in the Northeast Corridor, most recently the state of New Jersey, makes PATH unnecessary for its stated purpose, and

WHEREAS, PATH is an inefficient use of resources, because large amounts of electricity on large transmission lines are lost when electricity is transmitted over hundreds of miles, and

WHEREAS, it is likely that AEP and Allegheny will construct up to four new coal-fired generating plants in West Virginia and eastern Ohio to feed PATH, increasing the destruction of West Virginia streams, communities and land from mountaintop removal coal mining and generating large amounts of new air pollution that will harm the health of Calhoun County citizens living downwind of these plants, and

WHEREAS, the $1.8 billion proposed in PATH construction costs could be better invested in improving the reliability and security of local West Virginia electrical infrastructure and more diverse and secure generating capacity in the state, and

WHEREAS, the proposed PATH project does not demonstrate a need to originate or pass through West Virginia, and

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Calhoun County Commission does hereby oppose the construction of the PATH within the boundaries of Calhoun County, WV, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Calhoun County Commission expresses its support for and agreement with other counties in West Virginia that oppose the construction of PATH within their boundaries.


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