06 June 2016
New Jersey: Bury the Proposed Transmission Lines
by Barbara Ianucci, app.com, 6 June 2016
As a former co-founder of R.A.G.E. (Residents Against Giant Electric) I am supporting the fight of the 2nd RAGE generation formed in Middletown in opposing the reintroduced 230k transmission line along a 10-mile railroad corridor in Monmouth County. I am urging all local, county, state and federal officials serving Monmouth County constituents to review the franchise agreement between our municipalities and the regulated industry for your support in mandating that these lines be buried.
A recent JCP&L press release raises several concerns. The proposed JCP&L line will benefit “nearly” 214,000 Monmouth County customers ...which is “nearly” 33.9 percent of Monmouth County’s population. So where are they located? Do they live along the line? How many schools, hospitals or eldercare facilities are along the line? How many school-age children and elderly live along the line? How many cancer survivors, cancer patients undergoing cancer treatment and immunosuppressed people with pre-existing health conditions live along the line?
And of most significance to me is the paragraph referring to “PJM Interconnection, the regional organization that coordinates movement of electricity and oversees reliability in all or part of 13 states and D.C., has identified this transmission line is necessary, and should be built to provide JCP&L customers with dependable service.” Well, who are those customers? Are they the third-party customers of the Competitive Services segment? They certainly would not invest $75 million to service the local 214,000 Monmouth County residents. Big difference. Why expose Monmouth County residents to EMF risks for JCP&L and third-party party entities just so they can earn their profits?
The JCP&L press release states the line will cost $75 million ... but this project is part of JCP&L’s multiyear $250 million “Energizing the Future.” An underground line is $1 million a mile vs. $100,000 a mile for above ground. If this line is intended to maintain reliability for transmission servicing the grid for retail and interstate commerce, the added cost of $10 million to bury the lines is 13 percent for this project, but only 4 percent of the overall “Energizing the Future” cost. That cost is negligible — a term the industry used before for the number of cancer cases involved with EMF.
The future will reveal climate change, more intense storms, more cancer patients, more children, more elderly and most likely conclusive findings of EMF as a promoting agent — which all point to the fiduciary prudence of burying these new lines. JCP&L and PJM will recoup the 4 percent additional cost and the industry will still reap a high return of profits with its sales strategy (for the Competitive Energy Services Segment) by revising its proposal to be buried. Elected officials and public, please speak out to the BPU, to JCP&L and to the Commission of Radiation Protection to “bury the lines, not the future”
Barbara Iannucci, of Highlands, is former co-founder of RAGE.