Doug Stowe | Arkansas news, politics, opinion, restaurants, music, movies and art

Doug Stowe 
Member since Jul 17, 2014

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Recent Comments

Re: “Power line environmental study released; to carry wind power across Arkansas

There is no way to tell a clean electron from one sent through wires by dirty coal. Do people really think Plains and Eastern Clean Line is about solving the problem of global warming? Or is it truly just one more attempt to make guaranteed profits at rate payer expense?

To date, there is no agreed market for the power that they hope to send east. And the power that is generated by wind in the great plains should stay there to boost their local economies, not be sent east over power lines that create an industrialized landscape all across Arkansas.

I was shocked by the Sierra Club's premature endorsement of this power line. To endorse it even before the draft EIS was released was a certain way to demoralize any possible opposition. They have done no favors to the people of Arkansas.

There is an old saying in the environmental movement that national organizations are quite willing to ignore. Think Globally and act locally. To put the burden of altering our energy future on the backs of folks from Oklahoma and Arkansas is to miss the point when it comes to responsible energy on the East Coast. To put the source of generation far away from the point of use, disconnects the folks from the consequences of their demands on the environment, and prevents them from taking the local responsibility that ought to be required of them and that René DuBos asked of us when he helped launched the Environmental movement.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Doug Stowe on 01/14/2015 at 9:10 PM

Re: “SWEPCO drops power line project across Ozarks

I am pleased that SWEPCO and SPP have pulled the plug on this unfortunate proposal. There are still a number of issues that remain unresolved. For instance, the power company was never held accountable to state law which requires that they "analyze the economic effects.. the burden placed on small local communities that would bear the brunt of their ill-conceived power lines. I hope that some lessons are learned from this. One is that small groups of dedicated citizens can force them to prove the necessity of their proposals. That in itself may cause them to take our concerns more seriously in the first place.

8 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Doug Stowe on 12/30/2014 at 8:48 PM

Re: “People power vs. power industry

Thank you for writing on this issue. Normally, the APSC gives the power industry everything it wants. In this case, however, they have been forced to consider the viewpoint of the opposition. For very good reason. The power line would deliver 8 times the current demand at its terminus on the Kings River. When completed with a second circuit, which they could install without having to go back to the APSC for any further approval, it would carry 16 times area need, thus making available 17 times the power necessary for us to keep our lights on in a reliable fashion. We all knew from the outset that the proposed power line was only to take power through us without regard for its environmental costs, not to provide service to our small local communities.

While SWEPCO and the Southwest Power Pool claimed the power line was made necessary by growth in the area and the need for added reliability, Carroll Electric Cooperative, the local area provider at the terminus of the power line, claims a growth rate of 1/2 percent per year, and to have increased reliability on their own a staggering 55 percent... That is without SWEPCO's unfortunate misadventure in power line planning.

Now SWEPCO has given the APSC THEIR timeline for further review. They want to delay the rehearing until after January 15, 2015 giving them plenty of time to build their highly questionable case and holding the people of Northwest Arkansas hostage to their preposterous application until at least the late summer of 2015.

While they are dilly dallying around, realtors are suffering from the unfortunate thing of wondering whether property values will be damaged by the project, some home owners need to sell but can't, and property owners who love this place are attempting to raise money to save their homes, the beauty of our scenery and the strength of our economy.

It is nice to be able to find a bright side in all this. We have found ourselves more closely united in opposition to this power line than we have ever been united before. The effect of SWEPCO's application filed before the APSC in April, 2013 could be compared (on a much smaller scale) with our nation's response to the bombing of Pearl Harbor. We have taken it as a general provocation, and an undeserved assault and have risen united in opposition.

The odd thing for me is that AEP/SWEPCO and the APSC staff sat through two days of public hearing in Eureka Springs and failed to hear the united voice of the people even though hundreds testified against it and sealed their resolve that the 150 feet towers and 150 foot clear cut right of way never damage our environment or our economy.

In my perfect world, full of good thoughts, I would have assumed that they would have seen the foolishness of their proposal back then and would have pulled the plug on it. But when it comes to corporate profits, and the desire for them there seem to be no good thoughts on their side of this case despite the AEP/SWEPCO's claim of being interested in community and responsible stewardship of high moral standards.

In a way, SWEPCO can't be blamed for this. They were just doing what they always do and ran into a perfect storm... a small community that really cares a very great deal about the beauty of this place and the quality of our environment.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Doug Stowe on 07/17/2014 at 3:49 PM


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