Tuesday, October 15, 2013

how would you interpret this text?...

This was described as a "motorcycle."
Wednesday will be another big day in the struggle to keep AEP/SWEPCO from foisting an extra high voltage power line through a most beautiful part of the Arkansas Ozark Mountains. Some might not think one more power line to be any big deal. This one is. The poles would be over twice the height of our tallest oaks, and the right of way would equal the width of a twelve lane highway, crashing right through our woods.

A first grade vehicle can be imaginative!
On Wednesday lawyers will submit their reply briefs... one more step in a protracted process that is only protracted in this case because for one of the first times in Arkansas history, a small group of citizens has taken on the major corporation AEP/SWEPCO and said no. According to Arkansas code:
(b) The commission shall not grant a certificate for the location, financing, construction, operation, and maintenance of a major utility facility, either as proposed or as modified by the commission, unless it finds and determines:

(4) That the major utility facility represents an acceptable adverse environmental impact, considering the state of available technology, the requirements of the customers of the applicant for utility service, the nature and economics of the proposal, any state or federal permit for the environmental impact, and the various alternatives, if any, and other pertinent considerations;(emphasis mine)
Text like that is why the lawyers make the big bucks. One side can interpret it one way and the other the other. The crucial point is whether or not this text requires an applicant for a major power line to get permits from various state and federal agencies before applying to the Arkansas Public Service Commission, or whether they can wait until after permission from the APSC is granted. My own reading is related to the second "and." Granted, it is confusing text. But where there is a string of concerns followed by "and" and then followed by another and, it must be assumed that the first "and" refers to the immediately preceding text and that the second "and" is in conclusion to the whole string. Anyone willing to disagree with me?

Lawyers from SWEPCO insist that they are not required to get permits from the US Army Corp of Engineers for a river crossing under the Clean Water Act and other federal regulations until after they've narrowed down and gotten APSC approval for the finally determined route. They claim it would be unreasonable for the APSC to demand that they get permits until the final route has been approved. The law, however, seems to suggest "any" alternative proposed to the APSC must be accompanied by necessary permits... In fact, how can the APSC make its decision without them? And if necessary permits are not required in advance, and need only be obtained when a final route is selected, why does it require permits for any "alternatives?" One of the things I hope the APSC will take into consideration is the huge hardship imposed by utility companies on the local communities their projects affect. To put us through such duress without the power company having first obtained necessary permits from federal agencies is an injustice.

Interestingly, early advocates of manual training made the point that it was necessary to lead kids to reading, and that they be encouraged to read at a deeper level. Manual arts training was thought to do that. First it offered something the students would be interested in, and secondly, it demanded precision in reading. If you cannot read simple step-by-step text offered for the making of a beautiful and useful object, how good would you be at reading, understanding or writing state law? Don't we wish the legislators and attorneys that wrote the state law, had attended shop classes and knew that if you to compose text that would be relied upon by others, it should be sawn to a straight line ?

I will be relieved when AEP/SWEPCO has been sent packing, and we can get back to normal life in the wood shop. Photos of first grade student work is shown above.

Make, fix and create...

1 comment:

  1. Best of luck in your ongoing battle.