Rep. Jon Woods (R-Springdale) wants the state to do a study to determine whether power lines should be put underground. Power companies say it is too expensive.
“It is just simply not feasible to look at mass under grounding of utility lines,” said Greg Davis, spokesperson for Arkansas Valley Electric.
Davis say moving power lines underground is expensive. He says underground lines cost ten times more than overhead lines.
“A conservative estimate it’s going to double most people’s electric bill for a great period of time,” said Davis.
A blizzard dumped several inches of snow in many parts of the state on Christmas day. Thousands of people in the Little Rock area went without power for days, some close to a week. Rep. Woods says it is unacceptable some Arkansans had to live without power for that long.
Rep. Woods says moving power lines underground would be safer, look better, and allow people to communicate when disaster strikes.
“There is a little bit better reliability with underground,” said Davis.
Arkansas Valley Electric welcomes a power line study, but Davis says under grounding is a cost most rate payers could not handle.
Rep. Woods believes moving power lines underground would improve the quality of life for everybody.