Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Where is Grain Belt Express (GBE) Clean Line's FERC Approval? Did somebody forget to file?

I'm having trouble finding the FERC approval for Grain Belt Express.  Has Grain Belt Express even applied to FERC for approval?  I think not.

There is an application from Grain Belt Express for the Department of Energy under Section 1222 of the 2005 EPA, but I don't see an application to FERC to operate as a Merchant Transmission Line.  There is an application for the Rock Island Clean Line (RICL) to FERC and a FERC approval, but no application or approval for Grain Belt Express. There is also a FERC filing for Plains & Eastern Clean Line.  Clean Line Energy PowerPoint presentations point to Kansas Commerce Commission approval, but nothing is ever said about FERC approval.

Grain Belt Express is proud to point to Indiana approval, but I don't see a FERC application or approval anywhere for Grain Belt Express. 

Why?

Why did KCC approve GBE without a FERC approval for GBE to negotiate with wind companies?  Without FERC approval, this is a powerline from nowhere to nowhere.

Maybe I'm wrong. I am a simple farmboy from Illinois and all.  So I might be missing the obvious here, but it seems like "Clean" Line's statements about GBE milestones are carefully worded to omit a FERC approval.

Smoke and mirrors? 

Seriously, if Clean Line is legitimate and wants to build a powerline through Kansas, Missouri and Illinois, then why is there no FERC approval yet? 

So without FERC approval, how many wind companies has Clean Line negotiated with to sell their services?  How many potential buyers on the eastern end of Grain Belt Express has Clean Line negotiated with?  Zero.

Is this a game to Clean Line? 

Do Clean Line really intend to build this powerline?

Is "Clean" Line's intent to talk this up, put on a sell job, obtain the right of way, and sell it to another company?

Maybe I'm wrong here, but when Clean Line is attempting to build 4 powerlines simultaneously, why has Clean Line avoided the federal approval process of this powerline?  They received FERC approval last summer for RICL.  Clean Line is the only company ever to apply and "partnering" with the Department of Energy under Section 1222 for the Plains & Eastern "Clean" Line.  Centennial West "Clean" Line is working with the federal government for the western states, but where is the FERC application for Grain Belt Express?  Where is the FERC approval? 

This leads me to wonder what other trick does "Clean" Line have up there sleeve if they are not directly pursuing FERC approval like they did for RICL?  Cost Allocation? Is “Clean” Line holding back on FERC approval for GBE as a merchant transmission line because it is hoping to obtain cost allocation under FERC Order 1000?

Even Grain Belt Express's own website is cryptic on FERC approval when they ask and answer their own question.

Will FERC be involved in the approval of this project?
FERC will have oversight of the terms and conditions of service and rates charged and will ensure that the Project's transmission lines are operated on a non-discriminatory basis.

Clean Line conveniently fails to state whether it has applied or intends to apply for federal approval through FERC.  The same page of "frequently asked questions" also asks and answers another question cryptically.

Who will pay for the Grain Belt Express Clean Line?
The Grain Belt Express Clean Line is estimated to cost $2 billion. Clean Line intends to privately fund the development costs of the project and will sell transmission capacity to renewable energy generators or to the buyers of the clean energy that will be delivered by the line.

"Intends" is a very ambiguous word.  With the lack of federal approval at this late in the process while pursuing state approval, and the fact that "Clean" Line Energy pursued cost allocations fro PJM and FERC while never admitting it to the ratepayers of Illinois (and claiming otherwise), I seriously question "Clean" Line Energy's true intent with funding of Grain Belt Express.

This is the company that is so proud to brag about any and all "approvals", even to promote the approval of a state's ag impact mitigation agreement, but there is no known federal approval from FERC for Grain Belt Express and "Clean" Line Energy has failed to brag about FERC approval for Grain Belt Express. 

So why the hold up in filing for FERC approval for Grain Belt Express? Did the company's strategist forget to file at FERC?  I think not.  This is no accident.
 
Again, I believe this is the next biggest energy industry scam in the energy industry since Enron.  This company shouldn’t be called Clean Line Energy.  “CleRon” Energy's is a more fitting name for its lack of transparency, honesty and the reek of being a scam.  Call it what it is.  This is dirty business as usual.  

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