Bury Power Line Says U.S. Presidential Candidate

Not only are local and state politicians in the U.S. getting involved in the debate to bury high voltage power lines, but the issue has now reached the U.S. presidential level.

The Washington Times reports Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has pledged that, if elected president, he would not support a Canadian-U.S. hydroelectric project unless the transmission lines go underground.

On January 5, Gingrich said, “The application that I would be willing to consider as president would have to require burials, and it would have to require that the Northern Pass project be an underground project.” He went on to promise that he would insist on a plan that provides for “no visual damage to the natural beauty of northern New Hampshire.”

The proposed Northern Pass high voltage transmission project is extremely controversial, and has upset thousands of residents along its proposed route from Quebec to New Hampshire and other New England states. The joint proposal by the Public Service of New Hampshire, Hydro-Quebec and Northeast Utilities would include 180 miles of high voltage lines from towers as high as 130 feet, and would cost about $1.2 billion. (By comparison, AltaLink and EPCOR are proposing towers up to 253 feet tall for the Heartland Transmission Project.)

Canadian and American residents along the Northern Pass line are concerned about health, property value and visual impacts as well as lost tourism revenue. The line is estimated to reduce the value of land in the immediate area of the line by more than $1 million per lineal mile of line.

No wonder this issue has reached the level of presidential candidates in the U.S., and at least one candidate for the Republicans has now said the line must be buried. Unfortunately, here in Alberta, provincial Progressive Conservative politicians have turned a blind eye to the growing concerns about overhead high voltage power lines in our province, regardless of how many facts are presented to them.

~ by RETA on January 6, 2012.

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