I am an Illinois farmer who is being affected by the Rock Island Clean Line.
This is not my first right of way situation. Growing up on the farm that has been in our family for generations up to 2011 I have seen 3 pipeline and 1 powerline come through are 2 properties.
Before that my grandfather or great grandfather have another pipeline projects come through the farm.
As a resident of Illinois, I am greatly embarrassed we have another incompetent governor from Chicagoland.
Pat Quinn was once president of the Citizens Utility Board, an alleged
consumer watchdog organization looking out for Illinois residents and
guarding against high utility prices. Maybe it's a natural part of
becoming governor. Maybe it comes from being a Chicago Democrat (note:
Quinn resides just outside Chicago in suburban Oak Park), but this
governor is not working in the best interests of downstate Illinois
Clean Line Energy has proposed a high-voltage,
direct-current power line from northwest Iowa to Morris. The power line
will be like those big huge erector set towers on Route 71 between
Newark and Yorkville.
From Morris, the electricity is intended to
go to the East Coast states … or Chicagoland. Clean Line Energy claims
the power will come from windmills, but the power will be "augmented"
with power from coal-burning power lines.
Governor Quinn has
come out in favor of the proposed Rock Island Clean Line. This power
line is not needed, is bad for Illinois, and bad for the nation. The
RICL admits at today's electricity prices less than $30 per megawatt
hour, the project is not profitable. Electricity needs to climb another
50 percent to $45 per mwh to make this project viable.
has a surplus of electricity. Exelon is looking to sell electricity to
the East Coast states, because Illinois is producing more electricity
than it needs. Illinois also has enough electricity from windmills.
Every year Illinois is adding more windmills. In spite of what Gov.
Quinn believes, Illinois does not need to pay 50 percent more for
electricity to buy this from Iowa wind farms.
Yes, RICL is not
proposing an increase in electricity rates to pay for this line — yet.
However, I have not heard RICL state how much subsidies, tax incentives,
or federal loan guarantees they will receive to build this power line.
we are paying for this power line through taxes, higher electricity
rates or defaults on federally guaranteed loans, we do not need to be
wasting our money like this. This is unsustainable federal spending on
sustainable energy. In spite what politicians and the governor might
think, tax money is still our money. We have a right to balk when
politicians throw it away like this.
If RICL is granted status
as a public utility, given the ability to go to court, and seek eminent
domain to take landowner's land rights to build this power line to
Chicagoland, there is a potential of 12,000 acres of landowner rights to
be given to one privately held company.
The RICL is not a
publicly-traded corporation, but rather a privately-held company. If
profits are made from this, it will go into the pockets of an
individual. You or I cannot buy stock in RICL.
If RICL fails,
which it most likely will at the current electricity prices, what
happens to the right of way taken away by RICL. The power line and right
of way will be given to the creditors and sold to an actual public
utility for pennies on the dollar. If eminent domain is used by the
government and RICL, the landowners will never get the land rights taken
by RICL back.
While Gov. Quinn supports this power line, it
clearly will hurt Illinois' wind energy industry. If you listen to RICL,
Northern Illinois does not have any wind suitable for windmills. The
RICL also would have Illinois residents believe there are no winds on
Lake Michigan. The owners of RICL probably have never been to a Cubs
game, traveled up Route 39, or visited the Windy City.
governor was looking out for Illinois' best interest, he would realize
this power line will discourage Illinois' own wind energy industry.
There is no logical sense to wheel electricity from northwestern Iowa to
Illinois when the same wind blows here every day.
is very likely the nation's next Solynrda, a failed marriage between
incompetent politicians pushing sustainable energy beyond current
technology and what the market will pay coupled with bad business.
Illinois residents are later forced to buy this Iowa wind electricity
at $45 MWh (or more), the electricity is overpriced. We can live better without
it. Illinois does not need wind energy from Iowa. Yes, this project
creates jobs in Illinois to build the towers and string the line. Yes,
the wire will create more jobs and be made in Illinois. Yes, there is a
potential for local governments to receive property tax monies from this
Unfortunately, Gov. Quinn is in favor of unsustainable
government spending on this sustainable energy project with all the
stupidity of a Chicago politician.
According to Josiah Neeley,
policy analyst in the Armstrong Center for Energy & Environment at
the Texas Public Policy Foundation, coal, natural gas, and petroleum
liquids received $0.64 of federal subsidies per megawatt hour in 2010.
Wind power received a whopping $56.29 per megawatt hour in 2010. Unsustainable
government spending on "sustainable" energy is just another form of
This project is a loser at current prices,
supply of electricity and demand for that electricity in Illinois. As
residents we need to oppose Governor Quinn, Clean Line Energy Partners
and block RICL.