Successful Bury The Line Public Rally

About 500 adults and several hundred children rallied at the Legislature Building March 19, sending the Alberta Government a strong message that high voltage power lines must be buried whenever they are built near homes, schools, daycare centres, hospitals and environmentally sensitive areas.

Speakers included: Linda Duncan (MP, Edmonton Strathcona), Dave Quest (MLA, Strathcona), Naresh Bhardwaj (MLA, Edmonton Ellerslie), Brian Mason (Alberta NDP Leader), Kent Hehr (MLA, Calgary Buffalo), Laurie Blakeman (MLA, Edmonton Centre), Linda Osinchuk (Mayor, Strathcona County), Sue Huff (Alberta Party Leader), Shannon Stubbs (Wildrose Senior Advisor), Cheryl Przybilla (Colchester Elementary School Parents’ Association Chair), several Colchester students, Bruce Johnson (RETA), Kevin Melnyk (RETA) and John Kristensen (RETA).

Speakers criticized the Alberta Government’s Bill 50 which excluded any public input into determining the need for all of the government’s newly-planned high voltage power lines. They cited health, safety, environmental, property value, and aesthetic concerns about overhead lines. In pressing the government to bury these lines, they indicated that all of the negative impacts of above ground lines could be eliminated or significantly minimized. Plus, underground lines are more reliable, have lower maintenance and transmission loss costs, and can cost less than overhead lines when you combine the capital, maintenance and transmission loss costs over the life of a line.

With respect to cost, for example, a partially buried Heartland power line would cost only $87 million more than a $581 million entirely above ground line. This is only 15% more than the overhead cost, which is a rounding error in the electricity transmission industry. The question then is, “If underground lines have none of the negative impacts of overhead lines, have similar capital costs, and lower maintenance and transmission loss costs, why not bury high voltage power lines?” This is the question posed to the Alberta Government by rally protesters.

See the following media coverage of the rally: i880 News, CHED News, Edmonton Journal, CBC News, Global TV Edmonton, Global TV Winnipeg, Global TV Calgary, CTV News, Sherwood Park News (1), Sherwood Park News (2)Sherwood Park Independent, and Saint City News.

(Photo credits: Chris Schwarz, The Journal)

~ by RETA on March 20, 2011.

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