Government gives Hardanger power line go ahead / News / The Foreigner

Government gives Hardanger power line go ahead. The controversial Hardanger power line is now a reality. Today, the government announced it has agreed to let Statnett build its power line through Hardanger, despite massive opposition. Locals, as well as environmental groups and Hordaland regional governmental parties, have argued the pylons would be a blot on the landscape. The area is a favourite for Norwegian hikers and foreign cruise ship passengers alike. However, Labour (Ap) Prime Minister called the decision “important”, and claimed the rest of coalition government – Sp (Centre Party), and SV (Socialist Left Party) – had given their full support.

hardangerfjorden, hardanger, hordaland, terje, riis-johansen, minister, petroleum, energy, ministry, power, lines, cables, pylons, bergen, electricity, statnett, controversy, opposition, nature



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Government gives Hardanger power line go ahead

Published on Friday, 2nd July, 2010 at 16:43 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

The controversial Hardanger power line is now a reality. Today, the government announced it has agreed to let Statnett build its power line through Hardanger, despite massive opposition.

Ulvik in Hordaland
Ulvik in Hordaland
Photo: Aqwis/Wikimedia Commons


“Important”

Locals, as well as environmental groups and Hordaland regional governmental parties, have argued the pylons would be a blot on the landscape. The area is a favourite for Norwegian hikers and foreign cruise ship passengers alike.

However, Labour (Ap) Prime Minister called the decision “important”, and claimed the rest of coalition government – Sp (Centre Party), and SV (Socialist Left Party) – had given their full support.

“Now was the time to make the necessary decision to give the Bergen region a secure electricity supply. Several alternatives have been considered, but advice from the experts showed it was the best solution,” said Labour (Ap) Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg.

He played the sympathy card, claiming “it’s a challenging matter because of the great local interest, but we can’t live with the considerable risk of very high prices, or the current threat of power-cuts in the Bergen area.”

Expected

And whilst today’s decision must have been a huge disappointment for protestors, it hardly comes as a surprise.

Government-owned Statnett - responsible for Norway’s electricity network – has argued construction is vital if the Bergen region is to have enough power. The company has already put the contract to build the up to 45 metre-high pylons out to tender, arguing it was because of time-pressures

And earlier this year, Petroleum and Energy Minister Terje Riis-Johansen, said he’d vote in favour of the project.

 “This is a big and difficult issue. We’ll find a solution that takes conservation considerations into account as much as possible, but we cannot compromise the security of supply,” said Ivar Vigdenes, political advisor at the Ministry at the time.

Chains

Mona Hellesnes, the Liberal Party’s (V) Mayor of Ulvik in Hordaland, one of the areas affected, now says she’ll do everything in her power to stop it.

Hellesnes has previously threatened to chain herself at the front of a gang of fellow protestors.

Though the government has made up its mind, saying the matter is now settled, she refuses to budge.

“We cannot just simply accept this decision,” she tells NRK.




Published on Friday, 2nd July, 2010 at 16:43 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

This post has the following tags: hardangerfjorden, hardanger, hordaland, terje, riis-johansen, minister, petroleum, energy, ministry, power, lines, cables, pylons, bergen, electricity, statnett, controversy, opposition, nature.





  
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