Just announced: high voltage power line corridors can be constructed over the objections of State and local government, over-running natural areas and parks, and delivering more coal-generated electricity to urban areas, just in time to prevent switching to cleaner alternatives.
"Huge transmission lines could soon skirt Civil War battlegrounds, historic districts, and the Appalachian Trail following a federal order that designates national corridors in two key regions of the United States with fast-growing electricity needs."
"The corridors are designed to make it easier for utilities to get approval for power lines in areas where the electric grid is congested. They allow the US Energy Department – not states – to be the final arbiter of where the lines are built.""Tuesday's move is certain to spark a fresh round of lawsuits and inject vigor into congressional debates about new energy legislation, critics say, especially over provisions for the new eastern corridor. At stake is the reliability and cost of electric power in the Northeast, its embrace of green energy, and the ambience of hundreds of thousands of rural acres from New York to Virginia."
"Arguing that the US badly needs new transmission lines to prevent future power shortages and possibly even blackouts, federal energy officials say newly designated "national interest electric corridors" in the Mid-Atlantic states and the Southwest are a much needed insurance policy."
"But opponents, including the governors of New York and Virginia, state regulators, and others, say it's anything but simple. The newly designated corridors hold potential to push power lines through some of the most scenic and historic areas of 11 states. They would also undermine Northeast states' bid to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by causing them to rely more on cheaper coal-fired power from the Midwest, rather than cleaner but higher cost electric generators fired by natural gas."
The alternative is to bring in more LNG, implement conservation incentives, and build more wind farms.