Obama to step up power line projects

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration wants to speed up the construction of seven proposed electric transmission lines in 12 states, as it moves to create jobs and modernize the nation’s power grid.

The projects are intended to serve as pilot demonstrations of streamlined federal permitting and improved cooperation among federal, state and tribal governments.

The lines will provide electricity in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Wyoming, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

The projects are expected to create thousands of jobs, help avoid blackouts, restore power more quickly when outages occur and reduce the need for new power plants.

A formal announcement is expected Wednesday. A copy of the plan was obtained by The Associated Press.