Sunday, May 5, 2013

Wind-Across-the-Wire Hypothetical Question


Wind-Across-the-Wires is a great marketing name, and I’ve been thinking again.

Suppose on of these projects proposed and marketed to supply wind energy to the eastern states comes to fruition and is actually built. 

Suppose a state’s regulatory agency declares there is a “need” for a powerline to supply wind energy…. Heck, FERC has already given their blessing claiming there is a “need” so we have a governmental agency who can claim to be boondoggled by a company.

Now suppose 3-5 years after ROW’s are taken, eminent domain is used and the powerline is built, it is discovered the “need” never was there. 

Suppose the powerline becomes coal on the wire, like we all expect. 

Can landowners sue the company for additional damages using all the companies marketing as evidence the powerline was built on false pretense?

Back 20 years ago I read in the Wall Street Journal about a coal company wanting the coal rights under so landowner’s property.  They negotiated for years and years.  Finally it was learned the coal company had made a “mistake” and already mines the coal under the man’s land.  That’s when things got really messy in court.

Is there any difference between that coal mine stealing the minerals in the ground while negotiating for the rights and a powerline being built under the pretense for a "need" for wind energy when it magically becomes Coal-on-the-Wire after it’s built?

Save and record all information for this "clean" wind company.  You don't know if it can bight them later.

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