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Transmission Lines and Parks


    Earlier this year I posted a piece about the possibility that energy corridors could range through some national parks as the U.S. Energy Department, U.S. Bureau of Land Management, and U.S. Forest Service try to figure out ways to improve the nation's energy transmission.
     Well, there's still no final word on exactly how those agencies will draw the corridors, but there's an effort in Congress to see that the final maze does not call for oil or natural gas pipelines or power lines to go through any parks, national monuments, wildlife refuges or other sensitive areas designated by Congress or a president.
    "The proposed corridors are two-thirds of a mile wide and cross through or are adjacent to numerous specially protected areas of our federal lands," Representatives Raul Grijalva of Arizona and Sue Kelly of New York say in a letter seeking congerssional support to protect these areas from the energy corridors. "For example, there are proposed corridors through sensitive areas such as Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in Oregon, Sonoran Desert National Monument in Arizona, and Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico, among others."
    In their letter, the two ask their colleagues to send a message to the three federal agencies overseeing the corridor project to ensure that they fully engage the public in the planning process; take public comment on proposed and alternative corridors before publishing the Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement; publish maps that clearly and accurately show where the transmission corridors would go; avoid designating corridors through national parks, monuments and wildlife refuges, and; comply with all applicable federal environmental statutes, such as the National Environmental Policy Act and the Wilderness Act.
    Here's a site that shows how folks in New York state are working to keep an energy corridor from being blazed through the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River. And here's a link to a site that explains the energy corridor project.

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