What does Obama’s transmission “streamlining” “fast track” agenda mean for states’ authority over need for and routing of transmission?

What does Obama’s transmission “streamlining” “fast track” agenda mean for federal agencies charges with NEPA environmental review of these transmission projects?

What does Obama’s transmission “streamlining” “fast track” agenda mean for public participation and due process?

Does Obama have a clue how many landowners/voters are affected by CapX 2020?


These are TWO of my transmission projects he’s targeting, TWO, the CapX 2020 Hampton-LaCrosse transmission line and the Susquehanna-Roseland transmission line.  Here’s the Dept. of Interior Press Release:

Obama Administration Anounces Job-Creation Grid Modernization Pilot Projects

Susquehanna-Roseland in the news:

Stop The Lines Press Release

Obama administration will push Susquehanna-Roseland power-line, could be first project to be fast tracked

Federal Government Recognizes Need for Swift Action for Permits on Susquehanna-Roseland Power Line – PPL Press Release!

Obama backs power line upgrade that passes through Morris County

I guess we know why he was in Cannon Falls… at least part of it… I hate to think what else might have been on the agenda.

Here’s what’s flying out in the press about Obama’s Transmission Toadyism and CapX 2020, many are pretty much just a cut and paste of the White House press release:

Rochester Post Bulletin:  Obama Administration to fast track CapX 2020, other power-line projects

Minnesota Public Radio:  Obama seeks fast track for powerlines in Minn., elsewhere

Here’s one with some substance:

Feds step up power line projects in 12 states, including one in Wisconsin

The Obama administration moved Wednesday to speed up permitting and construction of seven proposed electric transmission lines in 12 states, including one between Minnesota and Wisconsin, saying the projects would create thousands of jobs and help modernize the nation’s power grid.

The projects are intended to serve as pilot demonstrations of streamlined federal permitting and improved cooperation among federal, state and tribal governments. The projects will provide more than 3,100 miles of new transmission lines in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Wyoming, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

In all, the projects are expected to create more than 10,000 direct and indirect jobs, help avoid blackouts, restore power more quickly when outages occur and reduce the need for new power plants, officials said.

In Wisconsin, a transmission company spokeswoman responded positively to the announcement. “We welcome any developments that help facilitate permitting of transmission infrastructure, especially as it related to permits from federal agencies. Sometimes those permits can drag along and any help in keeping projects on schedule is welcome,” said Jackie Olson of American Transmission Co.

ATC, which controls nearly 10,000 miles of high-voltage power lines in Wisconsin and the Upper Midwest, is not involved in any of the seven projects.

But opponents of the line between Minnesota and Wisconsin are raising concerns. It’s not clear what would be involved in fast-tracking the plan, said attorney Carol Overland of Red Wing, Minn. The line is part of a series of transmission projects extending from the Dakotas to Wisconsin known as CapX2020. Overland said the states involved have been going through their procedures without any delay.

“What this, to me, feels like is a threat to the states saying, ‘you put it through or we’re coming in,'” said Overland, who represents the citizens group No CapX2020. “I don’t see any basis for it. The state has to retain control … because we have to live with these projects.”

ATC is making plans for the Badger-Coulee line, a high-voltage transmission line that could connect to CapX2020 and extend southeast to Dane County. The company has been seeking public comment about potential routes.

State Journal reporter Judy Newman contributed to this report.

Once more with feeling:

What does Obama’s transmission “streamlining” “fast track” agenda mean for states’ authority over need for and routing of transmission?

What does Obama’s transmission “streamlining” “fast track” agenda mean for federal agencies charges with NEPA environmental review of these transmission projects?


2 Responses to “Obama’s Transmission BS in the News”

  1. Bill Howley Says:

    Please note that the PATH project was in no way denied or slowed down in any regulatory process. The power companies involved, AEP and FirstEnergy, withdrew their applications for CPCN in all three states where the line was supposed to go. The reason the power companies gave up was that PJM Interconnection, the RTO, dropped PATH from its 2011 RTEP, its transmission planning document, and said that PATH would not be needed for more than 15 years. Subsequent developments in PJM, including rebuilding of a major high voltage transmission line in WV/VA and rapidly expanding demand management, have caused PJM engineers to conclude that PATH will never come back.

    If federal RRTT officials are claiming PATH is the reason they need fast tracking, they are either lying, or ignorant of the facts.

  2. Bill Howley Says:

    You may also want to take a look at several posts I have done recently on The Power Line about how Interior Sec. Ken Salazar stabbed his employees at the National Park Service in the back on the S-R line. I tried to post a comment earlier with a link to The Power Line, but your blog software must have blocked it. If you click on my name at the top of this comment, that link will take you to The Power Line.

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