I haven't yet written about the proposed Dominion Power lines that were slated to run across northern Fauquier County. And, now they've changed the plan.
Apparently tired of the local opposition, the bad press and the lawsuits, they've decided to move the route south, where it will no go through southern Fauquier, Culpeper and Rappahannock Counties.
I've been skeptical from the beginning about this line. First of all, regardless of the route of this line, I think the plan should be to bury it. I have a hard time buying the cries of poverty by Dominion. And apparently while they weren't willing to spend millions more to bury the line, they were willing to spend millions more on a longer route. The new route would cost an additional $60 million because it's a much more indirect route.
I also haven't heard Dominion doing all that much to encourage conservation to reduce the need for future lines. If the only strategy is just to continue to build more lines as the population grows and demand increases we can look forward to a truly ugly landscape!
This move to a more southerly, more indirect route seems designed to move the fight to a group Dominion believes will be less well organized and less well funded. That's never a good enough reason and in this case I believe it may also be a serious miscalculation.
As always, local activism and organization will have a huge impact in how this turns out. If you're interested in more details on the latest announcement you can see articles on today's announcement in both the Fauquier Times Democrat and the Culpeper Star Exponent or on RappVoice. You can also look at the Piedmont Environmental Council's website for a more detailed report on the history of this project.
Where do you stand on this issue?