Two companies are vying for federal permission to construct a hydroelectric generating station at the Pike Island Dam, as we reported last week. The project should be expedited, not held up by bureaucratic red tape.
Hydroelectric power, especially at dams on major rivers where water level remains fairly stable, truly is an alternative to other methods of generating power. Wind farms and solar arrays require federal subsidies to be economical and cannot function on windless or cloudy days. Hydroelectric stations are comparatively reliable and do not get similar subsidies.
For decades, a hydroelectric facility has been in operation at the Hannibal Dam at New Martinsville.
Of course, reasonable safeguards for the environment and taxpayers who maintain the Pike Island Dam should be mandated. But the idea is an excellent one, and federal regulators should do all in their power to make it a reality.