by Max Brantley
Recommended reading: By Rob Moritz for Stephens Media about an ongoing effort to clear the way for a power line from wind farms in Oklahoma to the Tennessee Valley Authority. This would require a good 400 miles worth of power lines across Arkansas, a plan so far denied because the power line won't SERVE Arkansas, merely pass through.
Faulkner County Judge Preston Scroggins, who's never met a project he won't tout (see Fayetteville shale), is ready with assurances that power line construction, right of way clearing jobs and future maintenance (what? aerial application of chemicals?) are economic development enough to justify a 400-mile slash through the state to ship power from Oklahoma to Tennessee. It is true that Arkansas plants would provide windmill blades and cable. The project developers have been talking to environmentalists about lessening impact on sensitive areas and so far are getting decent reviews for their good intentions.
This is undoubtedly several years away. And green energy — without government subsidies (tax credits, government-guaranteed loans, production incentives) — isn't yet a bargain. But best to know what's in the works.