Richmond Times-Dispatch Letter to Editor: Decision on power lines was unfair

Editor, Times-Dispatch:  The State Corporation Commission’s hearing examiner recently recommended approval of the above-ground Carver Road alternative power lines for the Amazon data center project in Haymarket. This recommended route parallels Route 29 from Gainesville before cutting through neighborhoods and woodlands to swing north toward the Amazon data center. Thousands of homeowners, two schools and hundreds of businesses along Routes 29, 15 and 55 as well as smaller residential streets throughout the area face property and viewshed impact.

Overhead, high voltage transmission lines, with 112-foot-tall, 4-foot-wide towers placed every 600 feet along a denuded path will pass through many neighborhoods, right outside of homes and beside schools. The SCC discounted community opposition to any above-ground route. It also rejected arguments that the cost of building a line benefiting a single, private customer (Amazon) should not be subsidized by ratepayers. The hearing examiner’s findings will allow Dominion to pass the costs of the proposed project to all of its customers statewide.

Why should the citizens of Virginia pay for a multibillion-dollar company’s power line? Why should our children have to attend school adjacent to high-voltage power lines? There are several communities in the area surrounding the planned data center, and all of those power lines have been buried underground. Why does one person at the SCC get to decide the fate of thousands of citizens? Are justice and fairness just empty words? If Amazon wants a data center in Haymarket, then it needs to pay for it and follow the community pattern established with underground power lines.

Sylvia Casey.