At a meeting of western states on the subject of renewable
transmission, one state official lamented that the major obstacle to
new lines, in some specific cases, was the federal government itself,
with disparate agencies creating multiple hurdles. I found the comment
non-intuitive. Isn’t transmission siting primarily restricted by
disagreements between states on cost recovery and a NIMBY mentality?
Since the comment was made in an off-the-record setting, I filed it and
moved on until substantial supporting evidence emerged. Now, after
reviewing an EPA letter
to the Tehachapi project, I understand the state official’s comment.
For certain classes of lines – those that have all necessary
state-level approvals – the Federal government can act as an unintended
[More after the break]