On December 11, 2006, Congressman Frank Wolf (R-Virginia) and actor Robert Duvall announced their support for landowners and environmental preservationists in Virginia.

Dominion Virginia Power is planning to build 240 miles of 15-story towers and lines that will cut through parts of Virginia’s historical and scenic land by one of several possible routes along Interstate 66 and through parts of Loudoun, Prince William and Fauquier Counties.

The Piedmont Environmental Council led a tour of Civil War battlegrounds that would be affected. It marked the projected path of the towers and power lines with giant helium balloons to give those on the tour an idea of what the landscape might look like should Dominion be allowed to build.

According to real estate agents, Virginia’s land value exists in its scenery, but the construction of the power lines and towers would cut 150-foot-wide paths through Virginia’s forests.

According to Matt Sheedy, president of Virginians for Sensible Energy Policy, simply talking about Dominion’s proposed construction has caused land values to begin to fall.

On the other hand, Dominion reports that it needs to build the lines to prevent power shortages by bringing electricity from the Midwest. Without the new lines, officials say, rolling blackouts would occur in Virginia around 2011.

In the coming months, Dominion will choose a path to submit with its proposal to the State Corporation Commission.     EC