Thursday, July 18, 2013
My name is Maranda Bennett. I am 16 years old, and I live with my family on a hill in Benton County overlooking the valley of Little Sugar Creek. I have lived there since I was four, and my home has become a precious and irreplaceable part of my childhood. It is surrounded by verdant trees and thriving wildlife. We have an organic vegetable garden and a multitude of pets, including a blind horse named Luke.
Four of the six proposed routes – 33, 62, 86, and 91, run straight through our backyard. If SWEPCO employs one of these routes, it will annihilate our black walnut grove and render our property unappreciable. Any route at all, for that matter, would wreak havoc on the pristine landscape of the Ozarks and the pride of its inhabitants. What SWEPCO intends is to raze a strip of destruction through the Natural State, mindlessly tearing through forests and property – and for what? Power to be transported all the way to Missouri, which apparently is not even proven to be necessary.
These superfluous power lines would cause a host of other problems as well, such as ravaging our tourism industry, infecting our water supply and crops with toxic herbicides, repelling our wildlife, exposing our land to erosion, necessitating an influx of machinery and slow-moving vehicles for maintenance, and prompting a number of electromagnetic field-induced health problems, including leukemia, fibromyalgia, headaches and nausea.
What about private property? What about the rights of the individual and the homeowner? Isn’t the indifference and greed of corporations who would seize and degrade our property precisely what we should be protected from?
I strongly oppose the construction of these power lines, as do just about all residents of Northwest Arkansas who it would affect. It is a reprehensible act of inconsideration and tyranny which is bound to ruin our habitat and outrage everyone in Benton and Carroll Counties. I implore you to reject all routes in favor of reasonably unobtrusive, clean energy sources, or at least bury the lines. Build a power plant in Missouri, if necessary – but please, don’t allow SWEPCO to rape and devastate the Ozarks.
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