Friday, June 4, 2010

A Poconos protest hike where power towers will rise

The Pocono Record reports today that five environmental groups will set off  on a protest hike tomorrow (Saturday) against a proposed power line that would cross the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and the Appalachian Trail.

The New Jersey Sierra Club, New Jersey Highlands Coalition, Delaware Riverkeeper, Save the Park and Stop the Lines are sponsoring the protest. They oppose plans by PPL Electric Utilities in Pennsylvania and PSEG in New Jersey for a two-state transmission project aimed at alleviating peak-demand electric shortages.

The power line would follow a pre-existing right of way, replacing
80-foot-tall towers with 195-foot towers.

Hiking against the inevitable

The two utilities that will benefit from construction of the power line are powerful political forces in their respective states.

That fact was underscored in New Jersey when, despite heated opposition from environmentalists and numerous local municipalities in the power line's path, not a single member of the New Jersey Legislature nor any member of the current or former administration raised an objection to the project.
Even those municipalities that have battled the plan are slowly folding their tents and now are accepting monetary settlements with PSEG for costs associated with the power line.
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