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Reid Proposes Special "Green" Power Lines   March 6th, 2009
"Special" transmission lines raises states rights issues       

 
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Democratic Senator Harry Reid is proposing a "green" power grid that the Federal Government would have authority over, including where to build the lines and who would pay for it.

The Senate's top Democrat on Thursday proposed new federal authority to build special power lines that carry renewable energy -- like solar and wind power -- from remote places.

The Federal government would be able override states and direct where the lines would go and who would pay for them...

"Reforming our energy policies to build a cleaner, greener national transmission system -- an electric superhighway -- must be a top national priority," Reid said in a statement.


So the Federal Government would be able to dictate where these power lines would be installed and, not only that, who would pay for them. Don't want a new power line going up over your house? Too bad, oh, and you're paying for it.

Once again the Federal Government, under the Democrats, presumes to know best. This is bound to raise issues of states' rights.

Additionally, in a video on Reid's web page , he explains that this legislation is necessary so that White Pine County can export the energy they generate via solar power to Reno and Las Vegas. How about if it makes financial sense for White Pine County to export energy, or if the local energy company sees an opportunity, that they pay for the new power lines necessary to get the electricity where it is needed? Why does the Federal Government need to pay for this?

Also, as an electrical engineer (in addition to being a brilliant political and economic commentator), I want to let Harry Reid in on a dirty little secret that we engineers try to hide from the public: Energy is energy. Whether it comes from renewable sources or coal-burning plants, the end result is electricity. There's no such thing as special "green" power lines. There can be more efficient energy production, but a power cable is a power cable is a power cable. The power line doesn't care whether the energy it is carrying was produced by hydro, solar, coal, natural gas, burning old newspapers, or a million hamsters running on treadmills.

There are certainly issues with the unreliable fluctuations of power generated from wind turbines and solar panels; and if there is an expectation that the new power generation will generate more power than the current grid can handle then certainly you need more capacity.

But there's nothing "green" about the power lines themselves unless you paint them that color.


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