(11/28/2009)
The West Virginia Public Service Commission has rejected their staff's request to throw out an application to build the $1.8 billion PATH power line which crosses a number of WV counties.

About 70 Calhoun landowners would be affected by the project.

The PSC commissioners have now rescheduled hearings to October and November 2010, and set a new date for a final decision on February 24, 2011.

"So now there is total chaos in the three states with the PATH project," says Bill Howley, a leading opponent of the project.

The 765-kilovolt line would start near the John Amos power plant in Putnam County and run more than 275 miles to a new substation in Frederick, County, Maryland.

Opponents contend West Virginians would bear a burden of costs for the project, including increased emissions from coal-burning.

Also clouding the project is a significant decrease in the need for electric power.

Appalachian Electric Power and Allegheny Power, partners in the power line proposal, had asked the PSC to delay hearings and a final decision, after PSC staff filed a motion to throw out the PATH petition.

In September, the Maryland Public Service Commission threw out the PATH application, ruling it was improperly filed because a PATH company formed for the project was not an "electric company" under Maryland law.

PSC staff members argued that a lack of a pending application in Maryland would make it impossible for the West Virginia PSC to judge the project because it didn't have an ending location.


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