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Newman receives proclamation for PATH work

By Staff | Nov 6, 2015

The Jefferson County Commission recognized Shepherdstown resident, Keryn Newman for her contributions to the welfare of electricity consumers and citizen advocacy with an official proclamation at their last meeting.

Many residents of West Virginia, Virginia, and Maryland were faced with the prospect of losing their homes or property for the construction of the Potomac Appalachian Transmission Highline (PATH) project.

The PATH project had an estimated cost of 2.1 billion, plus interest, to be paid by more than 50 million ratepayers in the PJM Regional Transmission Organization territory (all or parts of Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia).

Newman helped organize grassroots advocacy to object to the PATH project at the appropriate state commissions in all three states (West Virginia, Maryland, and Virginia).

After the project was terminated for lack of need, PATH requested of the Federal Energy Regulatory commission (FERC) for ratepayers in the PJM territories to repay the $121 million, plus interest, spent on the project before termination.

Newman went back to work, along with Chloe, West Virginia resident, Alison Haverty to advocate for taxpayers throughout the PJM territory at FERC.

Newman and Haverty represented themselves pro se, spending hundreds of hours and thousands of their own dollars without recompense, researching, writing, and arguing significant regulatory issues before FERC.

Important precedents were chartered by their tireless labors, safeguarding the rights of residents to participate in FERC proceedings, and establishing precedents for utility companies conduct of transmission projects.

Additionally, a judicial decision resulted that required PATH to refund in excess of $6 million, plus interest, to ratepayers throughout the PJM territory.

The County Commission ended their proclamation by recognizing and formally expressing gratitude to Newman for her “single-minded dedication to the pursuit of both justice and fairness on behalf of taxpayers.”