Editorial: Consider carefully
February 10, 2011
A current proposal for a new power line from Wyoming to Nevada that could run through portions of our county is a good idea. However, officials need to greatly consider input from local landowners to find a route everyone can live with.
Moffat County is one of the most beautiful areas of our state.
Any blemish on its rolling hillsides make some cringe, whether it's an oil and gas rig, or one of the numerous power lines making its way to other cities.
While we would all prefer to look out our windows and see none of those obtrusions, most residents understand they are needed to support the industries — namely energy — our county relies on so much.
That's how the Editorial Board views a current proposal for a new power transmission line that could run through portions of Moffat County — if it's needed then we'll support it.
But, the devil is in the details.
Currently, the Bureau of Land Management is seeking public feedback about the proposed 600-kilovolt, direct current TransWest Express transmission line, which would run from south-central Wyoming through Utah and Northwest Colorado, and end at the Marketplace Hub in southern Nevada.
The project's proposed corridor and several of its alternative routes run through Moffat County.
While the Editorial Board is generally supportive of such a power line, there are things we'd like to be considered before the project moves forward.
The BLM recently conducted a well-attended public scoping meeting for the project in Craig. That's something we are encouraged by. After all, those landowners who could be affected by the proposal should make their voices heard.
We're also glad the Craig meeting was just one of several more similar meetings along the route of the proposed path. Public feedback for this proposal is critical, considering its impact and permanence.
However, the BLM should put heavy stock in residents' comments about the direction of the power lines, if they do run through the area. After all, nobody knows the land like those who live there.
We also encourage the BLM find a route for the lines that doesn't cross into the special places in our county, namely those surrounding Maybell and Sunbeam.
This is a huge county and we're sure there is a route that could effectively hide the power lines from sight, for the most part. The BLM just needs to work with local stakeholders to identify those areas where we can all live with a power line and its supporting infrastructure.
The Editorial Board is also encouraged by the idea behind the power line, namely carrying renewable energy from Wyoming to the southwest part of our nation.
We need all the energy we can get, especially as our population continues to grow. If we are also going to be mandated to provide increasing amounts of green power, as we have been, then we need to support the technology to deliver it.
But, please be respectful of our land and landowners when making a final decision.
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