District One Public Service Commissioner Randy Pinocci appeared on the KGVO Talk Back show on Thursday to discuss several issues, starting with a proposal to replace Montana’s electrical power lines to save energy and millions of dollars for ratepayers.

“When you can cut line loss by a third, then the power lines pay for themselves in three years,” said Commissioner Pinocci. “And then after that its profit. Its savings for the rate payer. And then there are other benefits. The new high performance power lines can double the capacity with the same size power line. Also, it doesn't stretch near as bad as our lines do today.”

Pinocci provided more reasons to replace power lines that may be up to 100 years old.

“A power line can double its weight,” he said. “If water hits it and it freezes and ice builds up on the line, then that stretches the line and after it's stretched, it can't carry as much electricity as it used to. Also when they're stretched and the wind starts blowing up maybe two or three months later, they can wave back and forth and touch each other and sparks generate, they hit the ground and start fires.”

Pinocci also reiterated a topic KGVO discussed with him several weeks ago, about placing social media companies under the authority of state public service commissions.

“I think the public service commission needs to evolve to include social media and a person would say ‘how do you qualify that’? he asked. “More people are on social media then use electric and gas combined. Tell me. Facebook and Twitter. Are they monopolies? There is no other ‘Facebook or Twitter’. They control everything.”

Another listener asked Pinocci how he as a Public Service Commissioner, viewed nuclear power as an alternative to other power sources.

“Technology has drastically increased over the past few years just like the power lines have,” he said. “We've never had a nuclear accident with any loss of life in the United States. We are responsible how we do it. Nuclear technology has just exploded. We can now make a nuclear power plant the size of Wal-Mart, and it can be underground where you can't even see it, and we have no emissions coming out of it whatsoever. No lead. We have no carbon monoxide; no carbon dioxide; zero. There are no emissions at all.”

Pinocci said he was on his way to Denver to be a part of the national organization of public service commissions, called NARUC, next week.


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