Editorial

Guest Editorial: King's letter to Public Service Commission

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Editor's Note: After we have complained loudly and clearly about our elected officials declining to take a stand with their constituents who are united against the proposed SWEPCO power line in Carroll County, we thought it only fair to follow up with some good news and share the details. Below is the text of a letter sent by our state Sen. Bryan King, a Republican, to the executive director and commissioners of the Arkansas Public Service Commission. We appreciate King for taking a stand.

Aug. 28, 2013

To Mr. John P. Bethel

Executive Director, Arkansas Public Service Commission

Dear Mr. Bethel:

This letter is regarding Docket #13-041-U. Because the citizens affected have not had enough time study its potential impact, I am opposed to the construction of the new transmission lines between Shipe Road Station and a proposed Kings River Station. The transmission lines will have an enormous impact on property values and on the local tourist economy and there has not been nearly enough time to adequately study the consequences of any decision by the Public Service Commission. Any decision of this magnitude should be based on facts, research and the best information available. At the rate this process is going, there certainly has not been enough time to make an informed decision, especially regarding an adequate study of the impact on the local economy and tourism.

At heart, this is a property rights issue. Eminent domain should never be invoked in a rash manner as the long-range consequences will be far-reaching and irreversible. Consequently, it is essential to study this proposal more carefully and thoughtfully, which means stretching the time frame in which it is being considered. Like many property owners in the affected area, I have concerns property values could be significantly affected and those affected may not be indemnified in full under the process of eminent domain. My concern is heightened even more so by the speed in which this proposal is going through the regulatory process.

While I recognize SWEPCO's authority to apply for a permit to build the transmission lines, I hope your agency takes into consideration the need to protect the area's economic viability, much of which is based on tourism. A final decision should be made only after much careful deliberation, and only after everyone affected has had ample time to study it thouroughly.

Thank you for your time and attention in this matter.

Sincerely,

Bryan B. King

State Senator

District 5