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WV Transmission Plans on a Direct Line to the State Supreme Court

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Monday, August 11, 2008   

Charleston, WV – An electric transmission line is making a beeline to the State Supreme Court. The Sierra Club says it'll appeal the state Public Service Commission approval of a one-billion dollar interstate transmission line across West Virginia, called the Trans-Allegheny Interstate Line. The new line has been promoted in part as a way to ensure reliability.

James Kotcon with the Sierra Club in West Virginia says plenty of research has been done to show that's not in line with reality.

"Every analysis we've seen suggests that there are much cheaper and easier technical fixes to existing infrastructure, and the line simply is not needed."

Kotcon says there ought to be more questions about whether coal-burning plants are the most cost-effective way to generate power in the future, and about how the line would affect property owners and the environment, when those who stand to benefit the most from it don't live here.

"Power plants from across the Ohio Valley would be shipping electricity to the East Coast, and there'd be very few, if any, West Virginia customers that would be served by this line."

Kotcon says other concerns include private property rights around the line, and the fact that the line clears the way for more coal-burning power plants, which are a source of climate change pollution. Those supporting the new line say it will bring construction jobs, and could boost demand for West Virginia coal.


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