Pennsylvania needs new transmission lines in order to prevent future blackouts, according to the group Pennsylvanians for Reliable Power. The group is made up mostly of power industry, labor and business organizations. They held a press conference today marking five years since a massive blackout in the northeastern United States.
Joe Kirk with the Mon Valley Progress Council says a lot of people don't realize how much more electricity we're using today compared to 30 or 40 years ago. He says conservation is fine, but it will not eliminate the need to improve Pennsylvania's power infrastructure. Allegheny Energy, which wants to build new transmission lines in Washington and Greene counties, has said the region is at risk of blackouts by 2011.
Several residents who live in the path of Allegheny Energy's proposed Trans-Allegheny Interstate Line oppose the project. They say the lines would destroy the region's rural character, lower their property values and possibly cause health problems. The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission is expected to issue a decision on the project this fall.