APNewsBreak: Obama to step up power line projects
Oct. 5, 2011 - MATTHEW DALY - yahoo.com
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration
moved Wednesday to speed up permitting and construction
of seven proposed electric transmission lines in
12 states, saying the projects would create thousands
of jobs and help modernize the nation's power grid.
The projects are intended to serve as pilot demonstrations
of streamlined federal permitting and improved cooperation
among federal, state and tribal governments. The
projects will provide more than 2,500 miles of new
transmission lines in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, New
Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Wyoming, New Jersey,
Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
In all, the projects are expected to create more
than 10,000 direct and indirect jobs, help avoid
blackouts, restore power more quickly when outages
occur and reduce the need for new power plants, officials
To compete in the global economy, we need a modern
electricity grid," Energy Secretary Steven Chu
said Wednesday in a statement. "An upgraded
electricity grid will give consumers choices while
promoting energy savings, increasing energy efficiency
and fostering the growth of renewable energy resources."
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said the seven power
lines being expedited under the pilot program will
serve as important links across the country to increase
the capacity and reliability of the nation's power
This is the kind of critical infrastructure we should
be working together to advance in order to create
jobs and move our nation toward energy independence," he
David DeCampli, president of PPL Electric Utilities,
and Ralph LaRossa, president of Public Service Electric
and Gas. Co., who are teaming up to build a 145-mile
transmission line in Pennsylvania and New Jersey,
applauded the administration's efforts. Their project
and others should ensure that high-priority electric
infrastructure projects are built and placed in service
in a timely manner, the power executives said.
Pam Eaton, deputy vice president for public lands
at The Wilderness Society, also hailed the project.
Building responsibly sited power lines to access
world-class renewable resources can put thousands
of Americans to work, bring cost-effective clean
power to people who need it, and help some of the
rural counties in the West hardest hit by the economic
downturn," she said.
The projects are:
A 500 kilovolt (kV), 300-mile transmission line proposed
by Idaho Power in Oregon and Idaho.
1,150 miles of high-voltage lines across Wyoming
A 210-mile, 500 kV line near Salem, Ore.
Two 500 kV transmission lines in Arizona and New
A 700-mile, 600 kV transmission line in Wyoming,
Utah and Nevada. The project is intended to help
develop new wind projects in Wyoming.
A 345 kV transmission line in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
A 145-mile, 500 kV transmission line in Pennsylvania
and New Jersey.