A $1.2 billion, 150-mile power line that would cross Maryland and lay high-voltage cables under the Chesapeake Bay for the first time has been proposed to ease the threat of blackouts on the growing Delmarva Peninsula.See? Every place you might want to put power lines is either densely inhabited, in which case the neighbors raise hell, or undeveloped, in which case nobody wants to mess up the views, the wildlife, and the rural atmosphere with hideous high voltage towers. In a crowded place like Maryland, undeveloped land is prized, and much of it will turn out to be park land, wildlife refuges, agricultural preservation districts, and the like. And note the cost, $1.2 billion as an initial estimate for a line only 150 miles long, all but 27 miles of which follows existing easements. That's $8 million a mile, for a route that crosses no mountains or cities.
But the proposal is generating opposition from environmentalists, landowners and even business interests in mostly rural Dorchester County, who worry that the project could disrupt farming, damage sensitive marshlands and blight the area's growing tourism. . . .
"When you come to this county, it is almost like stepping back 200 years," said Libby Nagel, a farmer and president of Dorchester Citizens for Safe Energy. "It's virgin territory, and once they allow this thing through the bay, it is going to open this area up to everything else."
Conservationists point out that millions of dollars in public and private money have been spent in Dorchester to preserve large chunks of the area from development - an investment in wildlife habitat and scenic open space that they fear could be undermined by the power lines.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Another Power Line, Another Legal Battle
As I was just saying last week, trying to build new power lines is a nightmare. From today's Baltimore Sun: