When the Obama administration first announced plans to speed up the Gateway West electrical transmission project, the only question it forgot to answer was “how?”
A taskforce was eventually appointed, though questions remained as to how an added layer of bureaucracy could assist the already government-laden process of stretching two power companies’ proposed high-voltage transmission line across southern Wyoming and Idaho.
Those questions — and easily a few more — will be addressed next week. The taskforce, called the Rapid Response Transmission Team, is meeting with project stakeholders Jan. 13 in Boise.
The team consists of nine interagency representatives. In the coming weeks they will travel across the West to visit with key locations along the Gateway West route.
“This will help us better understand each project at the ground-level as we move quickly to transform the nation’s electric system into a safer, more secure, and more reliable grid that offers consumers more energy choices,” said Adam Fetcher, spokesman for the Department of Interior, in a written statement.
The team will meet with federal, state and local representatives to review permitting processes. The goal is to pinpoint future challenges that could potentially delay the project’s progress.
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