Idaho wants to connect several of its western communities to a renewable energy hub in eastern Oregon, and the green citizens of eastern Oregon agrees with the sentiment. Just don’t use actual power lines to do the connection. Brian Kelly, Restoration Director for the Greater Hells Canyon Council in eastern Oregon:
We need to develop more renewable energy, of course, but it shouldn’t come at the cost of damage to our last remaining wild places….
Yep. Dan Shreve, Head of Global Wind Energy Research at Wood Mackenzie:
Regardless of where you go, there’s always some issues—whether it’s bats, whether it’s birds, whether it’s wealthy landowners who don’t want their view interrupted. As a consequence, you see these initiatives drag on forever.
These worthies put greater value—economic and otherwise—on sights and terrain than they do on actual power to support the folks living there to enjoy those sights and that terrain, as well as telling others elsewhere that local sights and terrain are more important than those others’ access to power.
Perhaps utilities should walk away from such areas, build their hubs and their transmission lines elsewhere, and let these folks who think energy is not all that important develop their own clean power sources and provide their own accesses to them. Surely, they’ll be able to do so much more cheaply and efficiently while preserving their views than can utilities.