Power Wars: Dominion Proposes Powerline through Prince William
May 1 2007 -- Here is the map with all the states and counties affected by this designation. DOE reps claim this is not just about a transmission line, but this draft designation by the DOE is in response to an application for ONLY a transmission line.
This policy is, after all, named, the National ELECTRIC TRANSMISSION corridor. It is not named for all the other "supposed" energy alternatives within the corridor designation. This energy policy effects millions of people, not only in the corridor, but all citizens urging transparent government process, 21st century energy policy, a national security energy policy, and required reductions of co2 emmissions.
In 2005, the Federal Energy Policy Act was passed. Created within this legislation was a new DOE policy that allowed private electric companies to gain federal eminent domain powers. The National Interest Electric Transmission Corridor (NIETC) was fashioned under the guise of national security.
However, many energy and national security experts propose that the NIETC concept actually increases vulnerability to the power grid.
How can the United States begin to address reducing CO2
emissions, while continuing to use dirty coal as our main source of electricity? We will be the dog chasing its tail. The more we use coal, the more green house gases are produced, the warmer our summers will continue to become, the more we will need to offset the electricity needed for those peak days, the more transmission lines we will need, and so on and so on.
Citizens say the time is now and the place is here. The looming threat of a Mid-Atlantic NIETC designation could affect millions of citizens, seven states and 114 counties, including one-third of the state of Virginia. The NIETC is not in the best interest of citizens, our environment, nor is it in the best interest of our national security.
DOE is holding only one meeting in the DC area. People from Ohio,West VA, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, DC, and Virginia will be expected to have their concerns addressed in ONE meeting where there has been a 3½ hour time allotment for public comment.
In addition, there has been NO formal public notification process, and no real transparency within this entire process.
Who formulated this policy? David Myers, DOE representative, responding to repeated questions about why ONLY new transmission lines had a guaranteed federal financial return, finally said "I didn't create this legislation, Congress did. Ask THEM why they did not put in incentives for conservation."
When pressed for answers regarding the use of dirty coal, which is responsible for 40% of CO2 emissions, Mr. Myers said he agreed there were problems, including the lack of a policy within the DOE to reduce green house gasses. He said he was glad I was bringing this issue to the table at the hearing.
So who actually did create this Energy Policy? How is it possible that the federal government could allow seven states and 114 counties to be under a transmission corridor for up to 12 years with virtually no REAL public process? How can we begin to deal with CO2 emissions if the federal government only creates tangible incentives for cheap, dirty coal transmission lines but NONE for conservation or renewable energy? The winner in this scenario is the profit margin of electric companies!
Citizens will rise up on May 15, at the DOE hearing in Arlington, and say we will not have our homes, our counties, our states, the future of our children, sacrificed so that a few may profit.
Dominion Power is proposing to construct a new powerline from West
Virginia to a NOVEC Substation located in southern Loudoun County,
near the Prince William County border. This powerline includes 125 - 150 foot towers running for approximately 40 miles through a 150
foot-wide easement along the entire corridor.
As part of this proposal, Dominion is requesting approval for the designation of a National
Interest Electric Transmission Corridor, which would provide more authority to the
Federal government than Kelo v. New London provided to the states.
Dominion Power is studying potential corridors for this new powerline. In Prince William County, the current proposal travels east along the the I-66 corridor and swings north at Route 15 to reach the NOVEC substation at the Prince William/Loudoun border.
This route would have a significant and negative impact on Prince William's already paltry supply of conservation lands, including the Bull Run Mountain Natural Area and the Silver Lake property that Toll Brothers recently donated to the county as a public natural area. The proposal would also affect a number of existing communities, including Dominion Valley, Thunder Oak, and other neighborhoods along the Route 15 corridor from Haymarket to the Loudoun border.
Many questions about this powerline proposal remain unanswered, including the need for additional power service and the potential of conservation solutions to offset additional power requirements. Regardless, Dominion Power is moving forward in order to meet their timeline for activitating this powerline within five years.