Our position: Beware Progress Energy's shaky rationale for fell...

Full story: Orlando Sentinel

Progress Energy's budding excuses for clear-cutting trees 12 feet tall and higher along its transmission-line corridors don't add up.

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Grandma Fudd

Winter Springs, FL

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#1
Jan 18, 2008
 
There has to be a better way of running utility lines of every type than the current way. I agree it is a knotty and an expensive proposition but somewhere between aerial and buried plant may lie a compromise solution that gets utility lines out of the trees and into some sort of secure conduit or trench system that won't fill with water, won't get eaten into by rodents, and be easy to access for inspection and service.
Whoever designs a practical compromise will be a popular gentleman indeed. It would also have to blend into the environment and be unobtrusive. Ideas ? Here is a chance for you smart college students to have a contest to design such a system of transmission conduit of the future ? It has to be secure from vandalism yet dry and accessible for maintenance and laying in new lines as required and provide separation between power and cable and telephone services and also it has to take into consideration lightning strikes. The services need a separation between them so we;re needing separate routing inside whatever you come up with.
SentinelBlather

Clermont, FL

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#2
Jan 18, 2008
 
This item is nothing but a rant against a big business utilities. Look back a few years to Hurricane Charlie. Just consider Central Florida and how long power was out. What was the primary cause? Oh yes, it was trees that were blown over onto power lines causing a power outage.

It is easy to say the utilities should spend more time trimming trees. For anyone who has trimmed trees in Florida they will tell you that trees grow back so quickly that one year after trimming you cannot tell any trimming has ever been done.

Whether utilities are underground or overhead, many homeowners have no idea of what an easement area means. We have neighbors who installed wood fences beyond their property line and enclosed underground utility easment areas. Then they plant trees in the easement areas and will not maintain them. When utility maintenance needs to be done on electric, cable or gas lines, the property owners will not allow access to the easement areas from their property. The police are called who make them an offer of arrest or access. The same neighbors complain their constitutional right to stupidity is being violated.

When a big storm comes and your neighbors tree knocks out power should you blame the utility or your stupid neighbor?
Alrighty

Longwood, FL

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#3
Jan 18, 2008
 
Grandma Fudd wrote:
There has to be a better way of running utility lines of every type than the current way. I agree it is a knotty and an expensive proposition but somewhere between aerial and buried plant may lie a compromise solution that gets utility lines out of the trees and into some sort of secure conduit or trench system that won't fill with water, won't get eaten into by rodents, and be easy to access for inspection and service.
Whoever designs a practical compromise will be a popular gentleman indeed. It would also have to blend into the environment and be unobtrusive. Ideas ? Here is a chance for you smart college students to have a contest to design such a system of transmission conduit of the future ? It has to be secure from vandalism yet dry and accessible for maintenance and laying in new lines as required and provide separation between power and cable and telephone services and also it has to take into consideration lightning strikes. The services need a separation between them so we;re needing separate routing inside whatever you come up with.
Already got it, no think tank necessary. Grazie for the stimulus Granny!
Pooh-Bah

United States

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#4
Jan 18, 2008
 
Progress Energy is a bad guy. Ask any customer.
Marvelous Marvin

Winter Springs, FL

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#5
Jan 18, 2008
 
OUC's turning beautiful canopy trees lining our downtown streets into a stark row of pencils and slingshots sticking up in the parkways isn't any different from cutting them all the way down. Actually, I'd rather see the old oaks done away with if they are going to look like the aftermath of Hiroshima anyway and just replace the trees on the parkway with some beautiful smaller flower bearing ones. They've done this in some areas (The City) but they do it so spottily that it doesn't really have the desired effect. Our City forestry people need to take some trips into Washington DC and other places where they have streets and parks lined with cherry trees and other blooming trees that make a real eye popping impression on passerbyes. I know we cannot grow cherry trees here but we can grow crepe mytle, tabebuia - both pink and yellow, and other flowering trees. Dogwood just doesn't do well here either unfortunately, but driving around I see lots of potential replacements. Stop, ask what they are and push for a program to ease these old oaks out that are causing the problems. I hate the pollen and the leaves anyway besides. They tear up my sinuses ever year and make a horrible mess.
Neal

United States

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#6
Jan 18, 2008
 
I agree with the article that it is cheaper to down the trees. I don't agree with the conclusion that therefore it should not be done. So the more expensive option is the better choice?? huh?

Honestly, the only good long term solution is to bury/protect the lnes. Trimming is an incredible waste of my utility bill money. Having to hit every easement every three years is a very large expense.

Also, does a tree with a mohawk really look natural or appealing? It hurts just to look at.

My house is without power every little poof of wind. I was down for 12 days total here in Sweetwater area during the hurricanes and the winds here were very mild.

I have an easement on MY PROPERTY and I would accept the wacking if it had saved 3 freezers full of food.
Chief Osceola

Orlando, FL

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#7
Jan 18, 2008
 
It's freakin 2008 and we still have sticks(poles)in the ground as a conduit for our energy. Yeah it cost money but for God sakes it should be LAW in Florida that the powerlines be put underground. The landscape of Florida and the natural character get ruined everyday by Progress and FPL. It's time to put it underground people - no matter the cost... Being a hurricane prone state, you'd think people would be begging for this so their power doesn't go out each storm event. Power poles are obsolete.

To the guys who trim the live oaks for FPL and Progress: You guys have nothing better to do than to prune and cut back and create huge gaping holes in the landscape over and over like you have nothing better to do.
Chief Osceola

Orlando, FL

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#8
Jan 18, 2008
 
Peace to Marvelous Marvin and all of these great posts.

Put the power underground!
LoliB

United States

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#9
Jan 18, 2008
 
I live in one of the neighborhoods that is dealing with having our trees cut down by Progress Energy. I just wanted to state, for the record (because your article says otherwise), that we were told that they would NOT remove ANY stumps.
Ignorance is bliss

Wildwood, FL

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#10
Jan 18, 2008
 
The best thing you can do for trees and the environment is reduce your energy consumption.

As much as I don't mind seeing Progress taken to task, it's better when it's factual.

Underground is expensive. Just the trench usually costs more then an overhead line. When the line goes out, it's very difficult to repair, whereas with an overhead line you just put it back up.

Tree's growing into power lines is a problem. However the problem is not the trimming of the trees by the utility, it's the fact that the trees are there. I'm sure if your entire community decided they would prefer trees over electricity, you could convince the utility to remove the lines feeding your community.

Different utilities use different "design criteria" in terms of height above ground, wire tension, and buffer above NESC required clearance. If you wonder why look at TV's, houses, cars, bridges, any engineered product. They are all the same yet different, power line design criteria is no difference. So one utility may be able to trim, while another clears.

If you want to do something about power lines, the best thing you can do is save energy. The less energy you use, the less they have to transmit, and the smaller and fewer lines are required. But as long as we keep building large houses and cranking the AC, they'll need more powerlines and bigger powerlines.

It comes down to conservation and money. There is no money tree, if your power lines cost more your bill is higher. Do you like your bill now, or do you want to pay more so tree trimmers visit every 6 months instead of 3 years, and more lines are underground?
James Kool

Lady Lake, FL

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#11
Jan 19, 2008
 
As a person who has just recently moved into Trinity Bay, I have seen the effect this tree cutting has had on the neighborhood - and - even more importantly - the emotional effect it has had on my wife - Ivy (Hill) Kool - who moved to this division 15 years ago and has given relentlessly of her energy over the years to make this a beautiful place to live. This past month has been very difficult as she has made countless calls to politicians, the Sentinel, TV, and every other influential person she could think of. Her greatest help came from her son, Judson Hill, a senator from Georgia, who made contact with the "right" people - and - while not able to stem the tide in this neighbor, has certainly helped to raise awareness to the issue. Without question, Progress Energy has handled this situation ruthlessly - which - seems especially barbaric in this day of environmental interest, etc. I thank you for your public support on this issue - and - hope that perhaps your opinion and the work of my wife will help to "save some trees" in the next neighborhood.

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