Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Some New Power Lines May Be Approved by Feds, Not States

The best renewable energy sources are located in the western part of the U.S. But the great energy hogs are in the Northeast. And therein lies a problem.

One solution to this problem is long-distance power lines.

President Obama knows this. He wants the U.S. to build 3,000 miles of new transmission lines by 2012. The economic stimulus legislation he signed includes $11 billion toward the price tag for doing the job.

Laying out the money is one thing; putting up the lines is another. During their journey east, the power lines will have to traverse many states. Each state has its own way of planning for and certifying electricity infrastructure. This creates roadblocks for multi-state projects.

Proposed legislation would give the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission the authority to approve certain kinds of power lines of 345 kv or more. The legislation would get rid of state bottlenecks and improve availability of energy from wind and solar power plants.

Wonder how the states feel about this.

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