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Hardanger fjord views still at risk of loss

Posted on July 21, 2010 at 10:17 AM

This post updates my last on this topic, with "government" representatives coming out supposedly swinging.  If only they would be more clear when they swing, and where they are swinging to, the dust-up on this monumentally stupid electricity project might be over.  It seems that very powerful forces are at work, forces that appear completely unnecessary. 


Last evening, the main Norwegian news on NRK television featured a prominent member of the government commenting, as well as news of growing protests against the high-tension power line project.  People are dropping their party affiliations in the area over the proposed Hardanger fjord scenic destruction project, and that's saying a lot. Jens Stoltenberg has noted recently in the press that the answer is actually not 'yes' - and also not 'no.' Meaning the extensive network of power-transmission poles may still go up - just not until folks calm down, it seems. 


NRK internet television includes related radio broadcasts, including this one, of yesterday (http://www.nrk.no/nett-tv/indeks/222392/ ) in which Eirin Sund, next leader of the Energy and Environmental Committee, with the Worker's party, from Bergen, I believe, spoke.   The other guest was Steinar Strøm, professor of Socio-economics at the University of Torino and U. of Oslo, who, in good Norwegian, presented his findings upon being requested to report on the possibilities: (1) the proposed poles project is uneconomical (in Norway, that means it is a sin); and, (2)  to wit: cables in the sea off of another area (not cables in the sea at the Hardanger fjord) would be suitable for power transmission to Bergen, and not cost as much as the solution proposed involving sea cables at Hardanger. In addition, (3) the oil platforms off the coast of Bergen use the Bergen net for obtaining their power needs now;  if they would develop their own alternative sources of power, including gas power, the Bergen net would not need more power to generate their on-land electricity needs, and the poles project could be dead.  To which Eirin replied, Well, she was surprised, and also the cables in use in the sea now are not cables, they're pipes (excuse us).  Also, all of these options have really been studied up and down, and can't we just move on with it now? Sure, Eirin, anything for you, dear.


The program host then had the quick-wittedness - and temerity - to note that Eirin Sund is considered an "environmental activist"  - who wouldn't support the transmission lines over Hardanger fjord project unless it was "helt nødvendig," as she had noted.  For the Norwegian-challenged, that means: "completely necessary."


I know what "completely necessary" usually means in the law, although I'm not sure politicians are interested in a strict definition, especially if it is not related to the relative price of a project and which of their porker-friends get the short-term financial benefits of building it.


If the government really wants to take the position that they won't undertake the pole project unless it is "completely necessary" . . . then, they will not undertake the project.



Again, the site for registering disapproval of the project, which claims to not harrass one with later e-mails:


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