No thanks, TANC

Here’s something for park lovers to get really upset about

As the seemingly endless flap over disc golf in Bidwell Park has shown, Chicoans have strong feelings about their “crown jewel.” Which leads us to ask: If disc golf can get so many people upset, what about the addition of another massive power line across Upper Park?

As we reported in last week’s cover story (“High-wire act”), an outfit called the Transmission Agency of Northern California is proposing to construct a $1.5 billion, 600-mile-long set of transmission lines running from northern Lassen County down the Sacramento Valley to the San Jose area. The project is being touted as a way to transmit renewable energy from yet-to-be-built wind, solar and geothermal facilities.

TANC proposes three possible routes through the Sacramento Valley, including one that would traverse Upper Park and cut through parts of Oroville and the heart of Palermo.

The project has all kinds of problems. From where we sit, however, two rise to the top.

First, it’s not clear to us that sufficient energy could be generated in Lassen County to make this hugely expensive and environmentally damaging project worthwhile. The electric-power industry’s own analysis of potential generation sources, called the Renewable Energy Transmission Initiative, rates the Lassen area as among the least promising, most expensive and most environmentally challenging sites in the state.

Second, we are appalled by the idea of another transmission line across Upper Park. If you think the two existing lines are eyesores, imagine another, much taller one right next to them.

Butte County already has more than its share of power lines, thanks to Oroville Dam. The idea of putting yet another one through Oroville and Palermo, using a right-of-way that already has a line on it and cuts through an area in which hundreds of families are living, is beyond unfair.

Park lovers, now’s your chance to really support Upper Park—and help the good people of Oroville and Palermo in the bargain.

Go to, click on the “comment” link, and fill out the ready-made form. Tell TANC to take full cognizance of the impact another power line in the park would have on the 100,000 residents of the greater Chico area and all others who enjoy Upper Bidwell Park.