Silence on the Power Line Speaks Volumes (letter)

This letter was originally published in The Delta Star in February, 2018.

Private property rights are a bedrock of the American Dream. The threshold for taking those rights by eminent domain must, therefore, be set extremely high. The benefits to the larger community from such seizure must be so clear that it leaves little debate among the citizens. By this standard, the proposed Transource power line project fails to justify such a violation of rights. Let’s be honest, owners cannot be truly compensated for their loss. Publicly protected land will be severed and the natural beauty of southern York County despoiled. Ongoing maintenance of such a line will mean ongoing violations of privacy.

The justification for this project has been totally inadequate. All this to save a few pennies for consumers in Washington and northern Virginia? A huge sacrifice by landowners is being proposed for so little impact on utility bills. It is entirely possible that conservation methods and alternative energy sources will even erase the few cents predicted by the line’s efficiency proponents.

We should be grateful to the York County Commissioners and the Planning Commission for their formal opposition. Although Representative Kristin Phillips Hill has not publicly opposed the project, she has, at least, spoken out forcefully against the coercive and illegal methods used by the agents of Transource Energy. Since the proposed line also goes through part of the 94th House District, it is discouraging that Representative Stan Saylor has not stood up for his constituents by opposing the project and the tactics used by the company. Silence speaks volumes. Perhaps it is the tens of thousands of dollars that the power industry has contributed to his campaigns that has left him mute. Whose interests does he serve?

Steve Snell