Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Jonathan Travers Chronicles Response To The Star Democrat / Dorchester Star’s Articles Against the Mid-Atlantic Power Pathway Project.

I want to start off this news article posting with a quote from Thomas Jefferson that states, “He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.”

Now from my own viewpoint, “The success of a Democracy is based on the art of truth.”

This article is a Point / Counter-Point to recent articles published by the Star Democrat and the sister paper, Dorchester Star.

First off the Star Democrat’s article, ESLC launches campaign against Power Pathway; June 25, 2009 makes some misleading statements. The first example being, “The rights-of-way required for the lines would consume 650 acres of Dorchester’s agriculture, forest and rural lands.” The COUNTER POINT is that the right-of-ways required would still be agriculturally farmed. There are plenty right-of-ways examples around to see for yourself of existing 230kV and lower voltage power transmission lines that have crops growing directly underneath these power lines. The reference to the strip required for the forest land will provide the grass lands with new growth and vegetation that wildlife needs to feed on. The other reference to rural lands has a vague meaning to what they are referring to but no more room that the electric supporting pole structure would take up, surely very little rural lands will be taken up. So in conclusion to this statement, the farm land will still be farmed, wildlife will be supplied with a better food source areas to survive on, and nothing will be consumed as the Star Democrat’s statement makes.

Second statement by Morgan Elllis of the Regional Land Use Planner states, “If approved as proposed, this transmission line would completely and irrevocably alter the amazing rural character of Dorchester County.” The COUNTER POINT to this is, except for the relative short run from where the underwater power lines come up on the shoreline in Dorchester County to the Vienna site, the new 500kV transmission lines will be using the same right-of-ways of the existing 230kV or 138kV transmission lines so there will be no alterations to the rural character. Dorchester County is the largest land area county in Maryland and unless people take it upon themselves to drive and look at the power lines for themselves, the vast majority of the population in Dorchester will not even see this new power line pathway.

The article concludes with recommendations for saving energy and money. This is good advice for everyone no matter if you are for or against the MAPP power transmission line. Many towns are investigating replacing the existing street lights with new and more efficient inductive lighting or light emitting diode street lights. Bottom line here is, making better and more efficient use of the power supplied now is good, but it will still not make up for the amount of power required for future growth. So if the article is trying to make the statement that if you implement their suggestions and save energy, you will not need the electric power that will be supplied by MAPP; this is an inaccurate and misleading statement.

Moving onto Gail Dean’s article in the Dorchester Star published on June 19, 2009. In this piece the Editor printed, “Pepco Holdings, the power company including Delmarva Power, which has been told to build the line by the regional PJM power grid.”

Wow?!? Where to start with this? First off, there is no such thing as a “Regional PJM Power Grid." PJM simply stands for Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland and the state of Delaware has now been included since its conception. PJM is an oversight committee made up of knowledgeable people in the industry but they do not tell power utilities to build anything. With their overall view of the mid-Atlantic region, they may foresee the need of additional electrical power in a largely fast growth area and make a recommendation that an area will need to be addressed before a real problem arises with power grid supply. It is up to the regional utilities to come up with how they want to approach, address, correct, and build the infrastructure power grid to make sure there is enough electrical power being supplied to a regional area.

There is one accurate statement made in the article when it was written that “Property owner's resistance will determine which of these routes will be the final route,” but if a conscience of one or another of these routes can not be reached, the Eminent Domain condemnation is something that could occur.

The sacrifice of the few for the betterment of the many.

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