Thursday, December 05, 2013

kind of a buzz...

I've been in kind of an electric buzz this afternoon due to a letter that was forwarded to me from the Omaha, NB office of the National Parks Service. It was written to inform the Arkansas Public Service Commission of their complete disagreement with the Staff's Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law concerning the power line proposed by SWEPCO that was intended to create extra transmission profits for the utility company by destroying scenic beauty in Northwest Arkansas. My readers may remember that AEP/SWEPCO had proposed one of their alternate routes to pass within 75 feet of my deck, and within clear view from historic Spring St. in Eureka Springs. The proposal was inept. The proposal was injudicious. The idea was dead wrong, and the folks in my community rose up against it... a thing unheard of in Arkansas, a state in which power companies have always gotten whatever they want.

Fortunately, and as was expected, the National Parks Service, acting in defense of the National Battlefield Park at Pea Ridge, found the utility company's Environmental Impact Statement to be deeply flawed. They also found the findings of the public service commission's engineers and attorneys in approval of the project to be reprehensible.

Whether or not the Arkansas Public Service Commission will deny the application, or whether or not AEP/SWEPCO will do the reasonable thing and withdraw their application is yet to be seen. But it seems it might be difficult for them to move forward against the National Parks Service and the US Army Corp of Engineers which would have to comply with the National Historic Preservation Act in their approval of any river crossings by the power company.

It seems that it is OK for folks to lie, cheat, steal to get what they want, particularly if they are associated with a powerful corporation. But sometimes, small folks have fierce friends in high places.

I want to thank my friends at the Arkansas Department of Heritage for forwarding this important letter. It may offer some distinct relief.

So far our snow and ice have not been accompanied by the ice that brings down trees and power lines. In the small part of Northwest Arkansas, we are breathing a sigh of relief on two fronts.

Make, fix and create...

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