When it comes to tax money there is no level of government that doesn't slobber over getting more, even at the loss of land and freedoms to enjoy it by the owners. Such is the case with the visions of tax money flowing into state and county coffers from the unneeded, for profit only, power line from Boardman to Hemingway, Idaho. B2H is pushing to build this high voltage line with towers up to 150 feet tall across Umatilla, Morrow, Union and other counties of Eastern Oregon.

This unneeded line will be across 100% private property in Umatilla County! When I was in school there used to be a theory that the closest distance between two places is a straight line. If that is still true under Oregon law. I ask why does the proposed line zigzag across, only on private lands in Umatilla County, sometimes almost going backward, to get from A to B? I am guessing the real reason is "ease" of running over private citizens as opposed to going through all the regulations, paperwork and hearings required if they built on federal, state, county and tribal lands. No less than 700 private landowners will be displaced of their land should the government/Idaho Power group succeed in their push.

Each of these monster towers, with their crackling, fire-prone lines, will require concrete footings (four for each tower) up to 40 feet deep. In the case of many, including our family, the construction of the towers will require clear-cutting of standing timber, blasting of rock and, in our case, loss of our two main water sources, which provide water for wildlife and cattle all year. Idaho Power will say they will maintain the right-of-ways to stop invasive weeds and little impact on the area, but I say look at the failure to do so on current lines. All one has to do is follow one of the existing line paths and see the garbage, weeds, deep ruts and trespassing that exists.

Both Bonneville Power and Pacific Corp are considering pulling out of the project at this time. Without their support the rate payers could be on the hook for thousands of dollars should the project fail in any part. Yes folks, that is you even if you are not close to the line.

I encourage private citizens to contact their federal, state and county officials and demand this private for-profit plan be stopped, or at the least have it built in a straight line without the approximately extra 50 miles added to avoid public and tribal lands.

John Harvey


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