Renton residents demand better and more honest answers from PSE regarding putting the proposed transmission lines underground: Residents give PSE officials an earful during council presentation – Renton Reporter.
From the article:
“As for putting the wires underground, [PSE spokesman] Wappler said that would be a ‘major construction project’ that could disturb much more land for a longer period of time than above-ground wires. He also said that while putting wires underground means fewer (but potentially longer) outages, under current regulations, the reliability issue is secondary to the aesthetic benefits and therefore the communities that choose to place wires underground would be responsible to pay.” [huh? I would like to know where in the regulations Wappler finds language like that.]
and: “Wappler said placing the lines underground increases construction costs from $3 million – $4 million per mile to $20 million to $28 million per mile. And because the decision to go underground we [sic] be an aesthetic choice made by the community, under Washington state law, the additional costs would be borne by the community.” [huh?]
That is one more thing Wappler keeps misrepresenting: it is not some grand “Washington state law” passed by the legislature that Wappler refers to when arguing PSE’s hands are tied regarding underground lines; rather, it is the PSE’s own crafted tariff 34(b)(ii) that puts the cost of under-grounding onto others other than PSE, a tariff no doubt slipped past and rubber-stamped by the UTC among the many pages of PSE’s 2006 submitted tariff schedule.