Wednesday, June 24, 2009

North State Opposition To TANC Swells_Scott Mobley, Redding Record Searchlight

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North state TANC opposition swells

By Scott Mobley (Contact)
Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Rapidly swelling opposition to a proposed 600-mile high-voltage transmission line through Northern California has grabbed the attention of top north state legislators.

Both state Sen. Sam Aanestad, R-Grass Valley, and Assemblyman Jim Nielsen, R-Gerber, say they have serious concerns about the $1.5 billion power line. The planned transmission towers, wires and substations could severely disrupt lives in the north state for the sake of delivering power to distant urban dwellers, they said.

"There are so many aspects of this that are problematic," Nielsen said. "Citizens are very disturbed and upset."

Bill Bird, a spokesman for Aanestad, said the senator has started calling the proposed line "the energy canal."

"He has some real strong objections to his district, which is the most beautiful in California, being used as a construction site for benefit of people in the Bay Area who apparently support renewables but won't construct any of their own plants," Bird said of Aanestad.

The Transmission Agency of Northern California (TANC), a consortium of municipal utilities that includes Redding, has been planning the power line since fall 2005. They have yet to pick a precise route for the line and are studying several options.

The general power line route would run from Ravendale in Lassen County near the Nevada border to Silicon Valley. The lines would cross over or near property owners in Cassel, Burney, Round Mountain, Oak Run, Millville, Happy Valley, Cottonwood and Red Bluff.

TANC officials have said the line will allow member utilities to more efficiently import cheap hydroelectric power from the Pacific Northwest and tap renewables that may one day be developed in northeastern California.

Paul Hauser, Redding Electric Utility director, said power imported on the line could be crucial in helping the utility meet state renewable energy mandates and cutting greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, as required under state law.

Aanestad and Nielsen worry north state property owners could pay a steep price for this compliance with the state's environmental goals.

Both Nielsen and Bird, speaking for Aanestad, said they would try to block the TANC project if the agency tried to remove people from their homes through eminent domain to build the line.

"There have been efforts by environmental groups to block construction of water storage," Bird said. "There is nothing wrong with borrowing a page from that playbook and tying this thing up."

Aanestad hasn't yet come out against the TANC line but is watching it closely, Bird said.

"He wants to make sure landowners are dealt with in a respectful way," spokesman Bird said. "He has stated his concern but will wait until this gets going and they choose an actual route and see how constituents are treated."

Nielsen said he is troubled that TANC did not move quickly enough to inform people about its power line proposal. He will monitor the project.

"If eminent domain is used, the California Alliance to Protect Private Property may get involved," Nielsen said. "We will be raising environmental issues, asking and seeking answers to questions about where is this power (in northeastern California), how forthcoming is it."

Opposition to the power line was almost immediate among property owners who first started learning of the project late this winter and early spring, when TANC and the Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) started the state and federal environmental review process.

Hundreds packed meetings in Burney, Chico, Redding and other north state cities. An opposition group sprang up in Round Mountain, already home to a large Pacific Gas and Electric Co. substation.

Shasta County Supervisor Les Baugh last month announced his concerns about the TANC line and helped organize a meeting in Cottonwood that drew about 350 people. That meeting spawned a second protest group, the North State Land Owners Committee (NSLOC).

Julie Henderson, a NSLOC spokeswoman and organizer, said her group has combined with Round Mountain and they are working with TANC power line opponents in Red Bluff, Maxwell, Winters and Davis.

"The more people we get to stand up, the better our chances of working together and staying together to stop this," said Henderson, of Cottonwood. "I am not losing my house."

Henderson said she has been disabled for three years and her husband has been unemployed since December. They could not qualify for a loan if they had to look for a new property, she said.

"Once they take our homes, they will devastate us financially," Henderson said.

The TANC controversy has registered among League of California Cities members, who wanted to discuss it at a business meeting for the organization's Sacramento Valley division slated for Redding on July 20.

Redding officials urged the League to not discuss TANC at that meeting, noting the organization would not be taking public comment. City staffers did not want the League meeting confused with the open meeting planned July 8 at the Cascade Theatre and another meeting tentatively planned for later this summer, said Barry Tippin, assistant city manager.

"We felt bringing TANC up at this (League of Cities) meeting could create an awkwardness with the public meetings we had scheduled," Tippin said.

The League likely will discuss TANC anyway and hold its divisional business meeting in another city, Tippin said.

Of the five TANC members planning the new power line, Redding has by far the smallest financial stake. The major players are the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Silicon Valley Power in Santa Clara, the Modesto Irrigation District and the Turlock Irrigation District.

The Redding City Council in February 2008 committed some $600,000 to planning the power line.

The council has yet to vote on whether the city will help build the line - an investment currently estimated at $45 million.

Reporter Scott Mobley can be reached at 225-8220 or at
TANC meetings

TANC power line opponents and TANC officials are planning meetings and events over the next couple of weeks. North State Land Owners Committee meeting

What: Informational meeting for those potentially affected by power line.

When: 6 p.m. Thursday.

Where: North Cottonwood Elementary School, 19920 Gas Point Road.

Stop TANC rally

What: Rally with speakers from throughout Northern California.

When: 2 to 4 p.m. July 8

Where: Holiday Inn, 1900 Hilltop Drive, Redding.

Stop TANC walk/demonstration

What: TANC opponents demonstrate during one-mile walk.

When: 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. July 8.

Where: Meet at Redding City Hall, 777 Cypress Ave., and walk to Cascade Theatre, 1731 Market St.

TANC informational meeting

What: TANC officials will appear with the Shasta County Board of Supervisors and Redding City Council to answer questions from officials and members of the public about the power line.

When: 6:30 p.m. July 8.

Where: Cascade Theatre, 1731 Market St.

On the Web



Posted by crosemeyer3 on June 24, 2009 at 1:29 a.m.

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This might go through my parents' front meadow. That is not cool. It would stretch down the only agricultural land in their area of Lassen county. Stupid.

/getting in as many as i can!
//hopefully they will still display

Posted by opsite on June 24, 2009 at 3:46 a.m.

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If the Bay Area wants power so bad they can elect to build energy power plants close to themselves and leave us out of it. They can utilize more of those idle wind mills around Fairfield and Tracy. Just think about all the timber they are willing to harvest in order to clear the path for power lines but scream, shout and vote us down when we want to harvest timber in order to save our forests from fire caused by lightning strikes to dead buggy timber they won't let us harvest now. To hell with them, maybe if they hurt bad enough for power they'll finally get in line with the rest of us reasonable folk who believe nuclear power like Europe and Japan have been using so long is a viable alternative to coal fired power plants which throw tons of pollution including radiation into the atmosphere. Most folks don't realize that coal fired power plants have emitted tons more radiation than any nuclear plant incident we have ever had. Before someone replies that nuclear waste is unsafe and questions how one may store it safely consider the fact that other countries have sterling safety records concerning transportation and storage of spent nuclear waste. If they can do it so can we. We just have to use our noodles and trounce the radicaLS who screech about possible accidental spills if a railcar is derailed in an urban area. It's time to let the facts speak for themselves. The department of energy long ago hauled our transport containers over 10,000 feet into the air and dropped them on reinforced pads of concrete and steel. They did it in repeated testing and never breached a single container. They were full of inert material of the same weight and density as the nuclear waste we'll need to store. Come on folks lets get with it, times a wastin. As I under-stand it Redding is using power from a coal fired power plant outside of our area. I wonder how that makes the folks who live down wind from those power plants feel about us. Perhaps they're giving us the finger but we're too far away to see it. Well, I'll bet they feel just like we do about having Nancy Pelosi's constituents’ needs encroaching on our lovely area. We all need to consider nuclear power because it would solve our water supply problems, also. When power costs come down the desalination of sea water is a good prospect. We should continue to develop wind, solar, geothermal, tidal, water and more efficient life styles through better insulation and reduced power usage through simple things like LED light bulbs. That’s my story and I’m stickin to it.

Posted by citizenactivist on June 24, 2009 at 5:19 a.m.

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in response to opsite

Vast amounts of money are set aside to deal with Safety issues and challenges regarding Nuclear power...Ask yourself, Why this is...

Safe Nuclear, Clean Coal and BP means Beyond Petroleum...RIGHT.

I am very concerned that the manager of REU, Mr. Paul Hauser sits on the
board of TANC and backroom deals with TANC, which must have been easily done, considering this Conflict of Interest, have taken place. Mr. Hauser needs to step down from one of these jobs...

He should pick who he works for, and I believe he already has...It is not in the best interest of the people of the community of Redding, that Mr. Hauser remain at his position as Manager of REU.

* June 24, 2009
* 3:33 p.m.
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wildwoman7 writes:

This project makes no sense what so ever. I'm glad to see that people are taken an interest into what is happening up here.I was thinking where am I going to live if this goes thru and then I was like ahhhh.....I know we can just camp out on Paul Hauser's front lawn until we get back on our feet and find a safe place to live,I'm sure he wouldn't mind as long as my tent is money green.

* June 24, 2009
* 3:36 p.m.
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prowler5 writes:

Had to laugh when mention is mad of hydropower, as you know the greenies are getting ready to remove four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River with dams on the American, and Sacramento not far behind. That coupled with the fact that eastern Lassen is a poor site for solar or wind make this thing a joke. Guess that if they can push it thru the can bring in that dirty coal power from out of state.

* June 24, 2009
* 3:57 p.m.
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web writes:

Glad some sort of regional/state politicians are seeing this.

* June 24, 2009
* 4:09 p.m.
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randy writes:

The most incredible aspect of this entire project is how completely uninformed the individuals are that are pushing the project. The people fighting for their homes, their communities and the future of our planet, have gone whole heart into understanding what this project is about. The people from TANC, SMUD, REU and the Redding City Council have all demonstrated they cannot answer the many questions they should know about this project. I hope the Cascade Theater will be packed to the walls with "we the people" as our public officials answer, or not answer, our questions about exactly what they have planned for our money and our future.

* June 24, 2009
* 4:21 p.m.
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1942 writes:

They have not told us where the power is coming from other than hydro from the northwest. What hydro project in the northwest? What other power source in California? They must have a plan; lets hear it!
Why does the power line only go to Lassen County near the Nevada boarder and not farther north if we are to get power from the northwest.
They are building coal plants in Nevada posted by R. Hunt.
Something is still fishy here.

* June 24, 2009
* 6:05 p.m.
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manyponies writes:

you will go to the meetings and you will listen to the rhetoric and you will ask questions and YOU WILL BE TOLD NOTHING! went thru this in '82 with tanc thru oak run, they will not answer questions and they will threaten landowners with eminent domain and they will not buy out homes and land. they will pay a fixed amount for the 1000'swath thru your land and then clear cut it. ever get near those 500 kw lines and hear them sizzle? try it and then ask, "can that possibly be good for man or beast". the tanc line is a done's a government project and they will be bringing in coal produced electricity from idaho, montana,'s a big land grab in the name of the green energy crap....STILL LIKE BIG GOVERNMENT RUNNING YOU LIFE?

* June 24, 2009
* 6:29 p.m.
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citizenactivist writes:

in response to manyponies:

I believe a lot of what ManyPonies has written here is right on. I know of 10 coal mining projects in the works in Utah, Idaho, and Montana and Colorado already has em and no doubt is expanding.

The Power Brokers have grabbed these resources and began to develop them and now expect the tax payer and rate payers to pay to move THEIR Poison, Polluted, Power to the Metro areas that are willing to pay for it.

What do we get for our trouble...Power Lines and the ill effects, and there ARE ILL EFFECTS in addition to being
ugly, displacing many homeowners and devaluing properties
all around them, they are not healthy to live under or near. THANKS FOR THE VISIT_Green Earl

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