Poll: Strong Public Support For Transmission Line Upgrade

Posted by NAW Staff on July 02, 2009 No Comments
Categories : FYI

A recent poll finds that the majority of people in Morris and Sussex counties in New Jersey favor Public Service Electric and Gas Co.'s (PSE&G) plan to upgrade the Susquehanna-Roseland transmission line to ensure reliability of the electric grid in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

The poll, conducted by Luntz, Maslansky Strategic Research, showed approximately 3-to-1 support for the project, with 60% of those surveyed saying they ‘strongly support’ or ‘somewhat support’ it, compared to 22% who ‘strongly oppose’ or ‘somewhat oppose’ the line. Support for the line was equally strong regardless of the respondent's proximity to the line.

‘It is evident that most people understand that the existing line, which went into service in 1931, can't be expected to handle today's demand for safe, reliable electric service without an upgrade,’ says Ralph LaRossa, president and chief operating officer of PSE&G.

The poll showed that 81% of the people in these counties see America's energy situation as either a ‘crisis’ or ‘major problem.’

PSE&G, which funded the poll, is seeking permission to invest $750 million on the upgrade, adding a 500 kV line to the existing 230 kV line, within an existing transmission right-of-way.

The project would nearly 4,000 jobs lasting one year each, according to a recent report by senior economists at Rutgers University. By relieving some of the congestion that drives up electric rates in New Jersey, the project is expected to help contain electricity costs for homes and businesses in the region.

The Board of Public Utilities is considering PSE&G's petition to upgrade the line and is expected to make a decision by the end of the year. Public hearings were held in June.

SOURCE: Public Service Electric and Gas Co.

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