From: Wayne R. Purtzer Ed.D.
After reading some letters opposing the installation of a new set of power lines, some comments need to be made.
One letter writer stated that there is no need for more power for our region. If that were the actual case, why then has my neighbor, who has a controlled electric supply contract, been unable to run his electric furnace this December? We need more electric power on our grid now and there will be an ever increasing need for power as more houses are built and more new electric appliances are added to houses.
Perhaps we may see electric powered autos in the future. Where will the power come from to enable an electric auto owner to charge the battery that energizes the vehicle?
Last spring in western Minnesota, I saw several electric generating windmill fields under development which seemed to be ready to be hooked up to a developing electric transmission system.
The argument that the transmission lines would have to cross the Upper Mississippi Wildlife Refuge and be detrimental to it is ridiculous. The Upper Mississippi Wildlife Refuge is a governmental established set of boundaries and governed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The river has highway and railroad bridges and locks and dams which cross the river. A set of power lines crossing the river will be no more detrimental than the other utilities.
It is doubtful that the sunfish and carp residing in the water of the refuge would be bothered by power transmission lines. Large flocks of migrating waterfowl fly at a level high enough that there is doubt if they would be flying near the transmission lines. Those geese that nest on my waterfowl pond have no trouble avoiding either power lines or the trees along the edge of the pond as they fly in and out of the pond.
It would be interesting to ask any number of individuals in the northeast U.S. who have been without power for over a week if they would favor a better set of transmission lines.
Fortunately, over many years Tri-County Electric has been very conscientious about trimming trees and brush in an ongoing program which helps reduce downed power lines. They are foresightful enough to forecast an ever-increasing need for more reliable electric power. They should be congratulated for vision of the future electric needs of our region.
I have been impressed by the dependability of the electric power provided to our rural household. Over the nine years we’ve lived in this electric service area and through floods, snowstorms and extreme wind conditions, we’ve seldom been without power. This type of service gives a great deal of credibility to their requests for a power grid expansion.