The National Park Service has approved a controversial plan to expand a power line that will run through the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. The Susquehanna-Roseland line will increase capacity for the East Coast, which utilities say is needed to prevent blackouts like the one experienced in 2003. Environmentalists have fought the project, saying it will both damage ecosystems and result in higher electricity prices. The Newark Star-Ledger has more:
After years of debate between power companies and environmentalists, the $1.2 billion Susquehanna-Roseland line got approval from the National Park Service, Public Service Electric & Gas said today.
“This new line will reinforce our nation’s critical energy infrastructure for future generations,” said Ralph LaRossa, PSE&G’s president and CEO in a joint statement with officials from Pennsylvania’s PPL Electric Utilities. “It will ensure that homes and businesses in a multistate region continue to enjoy safe and reliable electric service long into the future.”
The non-profit National Parks Conservation Association released a statement criticizing the decision by the Park Service.
“America’s national parks are not blank spots on the map conveniently set aside for future development projects like super-sized transmission lines,” said Cinda Waldbuesser. ”We can meet America’s energy needs without sacrificing our national parks. We must ensure these national treasures are protected for our children and grandchildren to enjoy.”