Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Electricity is for the Birds

Just ask the people in Staten Island

Scrapped Plans for Power Lines Protect Habitats from Energy Development
Energy companies had a plan to carry power to the Northeast: Two transmission lines buzzing with electricity and running 425 miles through four states—West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware. Building the massive towers and stringing the high-voltage lines, however, would require cutting down 8,600 acres of forested wetlands and upland habitat, and the route would pass through Maryland’s Mattawoman Creek Important Bird Area. The environmental cost seemed too high to Audubon and a number of other conservation groups, especially since the demand for energy could be met with increased efficiency and other measures. In August, bowing to pressure from the groups, the energy companies scrapped the plans, thus protecting thousands of acres from development and preventing up to eight million tons of carbon from being released into the atmosphere every year.
I hope they enjoy freezing in the dark the next time the wind blows.
David Curson, director of bird conservation for Audubon Maryland-DC, submitted comments on one of the projects, pointing out that the wood thrush, the prothonotary warbler, and the Kentucky warbler—three neotropical migrants with declining populations—would have been particularly affected. Environmentalists also expressed concern for the potential effect on water quality in Chesapeake Bay. The arguments led to a new analysis, which showed a decrease in demand and other options for supplying electricity.
It's funny how the new analysis came out just the way they wanted it to.
Instead of building massive and expensive infrastructure, the utility companies will meet the region’s energy needs by paying high-demand companies to reduce their electricity use for specified amounts of time. “The decision hinged on looking at the role of the energy-efficiency programs and the state energy policies, and asking that they be examined,” says Kreitler. “It’s a precedent.”
I'll believe that Northern Virginia decreases its power demand when I see it, and not before.  Maybe if they exported all their high paying government jobs to North Dakota.

Remember, they don't love nature as much as they hate people.

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