Posted on August 4, 2010 in Community, Concerns, Government by Matthew SekolNo Comments »
A number of you have reported getting letters from PPL today about the latest action from the National Park Service.  Instead of finding ways to stop the line or move it around the park, the National Park Service is choosing to infuriate the public by creating 7 new options.  2 of these options go through our area (including the old Route C)!
 
We all need to spring to action once again to fight for our rural community, our families and our property.  Last time, we only had 23 people who submitted comments – we have to do better!
 
I strongly encourage all members to comment when it opens on August 9th.  I will send a reminder then or when information becomes available on how to comment.  For planning purposes, here is the information you need for upcoming hearings.
 
National Park Service public meetings will be held at three locations. In each location, an Open House will be held from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. and a Public Hearing will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
• Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2010 – Fernwood Hotel and Resort, Bushkill, Pa.
• Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2010 – Stroudsmoor Country Inn, Stroudsburg, Pa.
• Thursday, Aug. 19, 2010 – Farmstead Golf and Country Club,
   Lafayette, N.J.
You can find out more information by visiting:
Here are the proposed routes:
Posted on March 4, 2010 in Community, Government by Matthew Sekol2 Comments »

This is the LAST REMINDER to TAKE ACTION!
Steps to Take:
Read the Scoping Newsletter
Click to Make a Comment on the scoping letter at the top of the page.
On the form, you may also identify yourself as a Member of Drop the Lines. 
Comments can only be made through March 5, 2010.
Recommended Talking Points
– The National Parks Service does not care about private property or the actual need of the line, only the public land in the park! 
– While no power line would be the most preferable, that National Park Service will not perform a full investigation of the line itself. 
– Under the NIETC act, the government can take your land for this power line, but they CANNOT take State or Federal lands using eminent domain
– If a full investigation is not possible, we believe issuing the permit for Route B is the best course.

Posted on February 28, 2010 in Community, Government, PPL by Matthew Sekol1 Comment »

Our own Robert LeBus and yours truly were in an article this morning in the Morning Call about Route B.  I think Robert really captured the spirit of what we’re trying to preserve here.  You can read the article here:
 
http://www.mcall.com/news/local/all-a7_5power.7191594feb28,0,1124414.story
 
On another note, the article states that the National Parks Service only has 150 comments submitted via their website.  Since our mailing list has over 300 addresses and I know other groups are submitting comments against the line going through the park, we really need to step up and take action!  Don’t assume others are taking the responsibility!
 
This is a reminder to TAKE ACTION!
Steps to Take:
Read the Scoping Newsletter
Click to Make a Comment on the scoping letter at the top of the page.
On the form, you may also identify yourself as a Member of Drop the Lines. 
Comments can only be made through March 5, 2010.
Recommended Talking Points
– The National Parks Service does not care about private property or the actual need of the line, only the public land in the park! 
– While no power line would be the most preferable, that National Park Service will not perform a full investigation of the line itself. 
– Under the NIETC act, the government can take your land for this power line, but they CANNOT take State or Federal lands using eminent domain
– If a full investigation is not possible, we believe issuing the permit for Route B is the best course.
 
As I’m reading John Donahue’s comments this morning – a thought occurs.  If this power line is in the best interest of the public, then why not let the full public take the brunt of the route by placing it through the park?

Posted on February 13, 2010 in Community, Concerns, Environment, PPL by Matthew SekolNo Comments »

Many of you have reported receiving a letter from PPL this week or seeing an article in the Morning Call regarding the Susquehanna-Roseland Power Line.  While the Pennsylvania Utilities Commission and the NJ Board of Public Utilities have approved the line, the National Park Service has decided to re-examine all routes again because Route B runs through the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.
 
The park already contains a utility line, previously approved by Congress decades ago, but would require expanding the right of way and installing some access roads.  PPL still believes the most effective route for the power line is Route B.
 
The board will be meeting shortly to discuss our next steps.  It will most likely involve a letter writing or email campaign.  Please look for another email in the coming days.

Posted on September 22, 2008 in Community, Government by Matthew SekolNo Comments »

Pennsylvania is known as the Keystone state.  If you look at it from a geographic perspective, this nomenclature becomes apparent.  Pennsylvania is the gateway to the Northeast from the rest of the country.  We are a heavily traveled state and will soon be utilized en masse to deliver electricity to the Northeast not only from our state but from every state west of Pennsylvania.  52 out of our 67 counties in Pennsylvania have been deemed legitimate transmission targets for the NIETC (National Interest Electric Corridors), which would turn our great state from “Penn’s Woods” into “Penn’s Towers.” 

Under NIETC (or if the utility already owns Right of Way through your area), any utility can seize your land for power lines while you continue to live on it or farm it.  Under current law you continue to pay taxes on this land and you receive no compensation from any of the extra costs you have to pay to farm around the tower or for any loss in the value of your property that is now “blighted” real estate. Yet the utility companies continue to reap the benefits year after year.

It gets worse since New Jersey has forced Pennsylvania’s hand with legislation outlawing new coal burning and nuclear plants, knowing that Pennsylvania, built on coal, would never pass such a law.  If you look at PJM’s long term plans, you will see new coal and nuclear plants being planned for central Pennsylvania.  We do not need this extra power but our neighbors do. No one can dispute that as a nation we all need a safe and efficient source of power and that we have to work together but it is the role and responsibility of our government to ensure, through fiscal incentives and regulation, that the goal is accomplished in a fair and just manner.

We are simply proposing that utilities pay the citizens of Pennsylvania proper compensation since our land is so valuable to the National Interest. We would like your help in sponsoring and promoting Pennsylvania legislation that will ensure more efficient use of existing infrastructure by removing the current economic incentive to put in a new line rather than to upgrade an existing line or invest in technology.

Proposed Pennsylvania legislation: Compensation to be paid for a right of way or for the real estate blight caused by an electricity transmission line: The compensation for the use of a right of way or for the blight caused by a electricity transmission line shall be an annual use fee payment based on a percentage of the value generated by the transmission line.

Such a payment would ensure visibility of the true value derived from right of way and ensure fair compensation is paid to those who have to endure the blight of a transmission line in “the national interest”. The response of the power generation and transmission companies would be to adjust their pricing accordingly, lowering the price in the producing or transmission area and increasing the price in the area of the consumption making local production such as residential or commercial solar more attractive.

Finally, in a world of rapidly advancing technology we can expect that the unit price of Photovoltaic cells (PV) will continue to decrease as their efficiency increases just as we have seen with computer memory. This emerging trend will increasingly become apparent over the next few years and it is highly possible that before the new gigantic towers designed to transmit power from one side of the county to another are completed, they will be obsolete. Consideration should therefore be given to the restitution of rights of way and the removal of the power transmission lines other than through the use of the Superfund.

Developing legislation requires considerable work in identifying, educating and persuading state Senators, Representatives and ultimately the Governor. Big corporations like PPL do this by hiring lobbyists but we have decided that we will be better served by continuing to work through volunteers like you and me. We need your help to get this issue before our legislators.

Posted on September 18, 2008 in Community, Environment, Government by Matthew SekolNo Comments »
We are looking for people to go to the PA Energy Fest this weekend, but specifically Friday at 5:30PM where Senator Casey will be talking about NIETC.  For those that are not familiar with NIETC, check here for more information.
 
 
This Fri., Sat. & Sun. – Sept. 19, 20, & 21, 2008
 
Featured Keynote Speaker on Main Stage: U.S. Senator Bob Casey
“The Federally Mandated Electrical Transmission Corridor Planned to Go Through PA by Eminent Domain”
National Interest Electric Corridors: What the New Federal Law for Designating and Siting Power Lines Means for Pennsylvanians
The 2005 Energy Policy Act created a broad new authority for the federal government to take the electric transmission line siting process away from the state in certain situations. The new law is now being put into effect with 75% of the state swept into the new federal power and transmission line projects proposed in southwest and northeast Pennsylvania.

Senator Casey will discuss what it means for Pennsylvania property owners and communities, its impact on Pennsylvania’s renewable power and global warming initiatives, and what we can do about it.

UPDATE: Casey will not be speaking, but we still encourage you to go!  Holly from the Sierra Club will be speaking about NIETC and needs our support!

Posted on July 8, 2008 in Community, Government by Matthew Sekol1 Comment »

Lehigh Township supervisors will hold a special session next week (Tuesday, July 15th at 6PM) to adopt and sign a letter stating the township supervisors are against the power line for economic and environmental reasons.  It will be sent to PPL and Lehigh Township’s state and federal elected officials. 
 
The special session is for supervisors to adopt a resolution to send a letter of objection, which the township lawyer will have written before the meeting so they can sign it and send it immediately.  Because this must be a public meeting it will be advertised and the chairperson must call for public comment during the meeting. The township will not have anything for the public to sign.

 

Posted on July 8, 2008 in Community, Government by Matthew SekolNo Comments »

If you live in Lehigh Township, there is a Supervisors Meeting tonight where they will be discussing the power lines.  The Politics team will have a representative there.  I actually live in Lehigh Township and many people do not know about the lines up there. 

The meeting information is:

1069 Municipal Rd, Walnutport, PA
7:00PM

Posted on July 8, 2008 in Community by Matthew SekolNo Comments »

It was really great seeing the turnout tonight and getting to talk to so many passionate people last night.  I think there were a lot of great takeaways from the meeting, including – we don’t have much time!  Keep getting the word out to your neighbors, friends and relatives.  If you know anyone who might work great on a particular team, let them know what we’re doing and that they can really help make a difference. 

I was quite surprised at how much money we collected!  It was encouraging to see people reach into their pockets for the impromptu donation.  I think the Funding group is well on their way.

There was also some great media coverage of the event including:

Channel 69 News – Powerline Saga Logs Another Chapter in Northampton County
PennLive – Residents unite to fight against major power line

So keep it here, people.  They’ll be more content coming over the next few days!

Posted on July 2, 2008 in Community, Concerns by Matthew SekolNo Comments »

AOL has a great video posted of folks in a rural western PA town whose lifestyle is being threatened by the same 500 kV power lines that are possibly coming through our area.  I’ve mentioned them before – StoptheTowers.org.  This video is a fantastic testament to the committment they have for the land and their families.

Continuing the Power Struggle – StoptheTowers.org

As you will see in the video, there are many similarities between us and them.  The meeting that they show in the video could have very well have been our meeting.  You can see the same passion and fire in those people.

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