Thursday, November 21, 2013

Clean Line Energy's sell job & the EUCI Conference

The 8th Annual Public Participation for Transmission Siting.  
Clean Line is hosting another EUCI conference in January. Keryn at STOPPATHWV BLOG wrote a great piece about this conference.  My friends at BLOCKRICL were very irate and provoked about these conference titles.  At first, I found the conference sponsored by Clean Line Energy to be amusing and maybe a bit flattering, but after working on this piece, yeah, this conference is offensive to ratepayers everywhere.  Perhaps this conference shows a group that understands the old unofficial ADM motto “The competition is your friend.  The customer is your enemy.”  After giving it some thought, it looks like this is exactly how Clean Line and some of the industry view the ratepayers.

Jimmy Glofelty of Clean Line Energy is giving the Keynote Presentation!  Lessons Learned – Clean Line Energy Discusses the Challenges During Public Outreach Process.

“Clean Line energy will discuss the public engagement challenges that are inherent when developing and building new large infrastructure projects. How do we overcome these challenges and work to ensure that our stakeholders feel they are informed and part of the process, each step of the way? He will discuss the lessons learned and some of the challenges faced in his career developing transmission projects across multiple states.”

Later Louisa Kinoshi, of Clean Line Energy will tell the conference about the ins and outs of social media.  What make this hilarious is it’s coming from a company that has pulled its Facebook pages and effectively shutdown the Twitter account. 

Then there is another session titled “Going BANANAs with NIMBY’s” and another called “Marketing to Mayberry”, concluding with a “MOCK OPEN HOUSE”.

Marketing to Mayberry?  Can you make this anymore insulting and still claim to be “reaching out”?  Thank you for showing us what you and your friends in the transmission industry think of the public.  How stupid do you think we are?  How badly do you want these powerlines?

Michael Skelly, have you ever lost control of a situation so badly?

If I sound a bit irate, well, after reading and watching all this, I am.  This arrogance shown by Clean Line Energy is personal attacks against the ratepayers across the Midwest.  Last January I wrote this wasn’t personal opposition and attempts to expose any individual persons.  Unfortunately, this is becoming a rather ugly campaign for RICL to obtain approval for their transmission line.

Micheal Skelly is just finishing up the Transmission & Distribution Summit 2013 today as I am writing this post.  As a part of the promotion for this event, Skelly was asked a few questions, including the following question and response.

  How would you describe your public outreach programs? How do you build stakeholder support for new projects?
We talk with the land owners and county officials. We get input from state agencies, local environmental NGOs and business organizations. The more input we get the more informed we will be as we put together the route. If we are building lines from Western Kansas to Southern Indiana, there are many possibilities for the route. We listen to what different stakeholders have to say and try to come up with the most sensibly-sited route.

I don’t know any landowners Clean Line has actually worked with for route determination and this quote from Mr. Skelly seems to be disingenuous.  I am also reminded of a previous conference in Wyoming where Clean Line Energy’s top man spoke. Michael said;
            “As soon as landowners hear of a project like this, they are going to call the elected official they know and that is the county commissioner.  But we want to get in and talk to a county commissioner early on and tell them where we're coming from. 
And this is sort of our …coming back to where we’re coming back to the view that these answers are not coming from Washington, we're big into the ground up developments so we start at the local level as possibly as you can and then sort of work your way up to the state level and then ultimately Washington to the extent that their involved. 

Yes, those actually words from Skelly better describe the company’s approach.  Get to the county officials and sell the project to them before the landowners have a clue is more accurate description of what Clean Line does.

My friend “Mark” in Kansas was right.  As much as I’ve tried to find a good side to him, Michael Skelly is most likely an .....  Actually, the stunts he and Clean Line are attempting in the last two years make Washington bureaucrats look clean.  The nation should consider itself fortunate Michael Skelly lost the election for US Congressman.  We have enough idiots in Washington with the ethics of a turnip.

One last thing.  What does Michael Skelly have to gain by speaking at these conferences, like the Transmission and Distribution Summit 2013, while the rest of the 40 employees of Clean Line Energy attempt to sell this company to state utility commissions and to a lesser extent, the public?  Is he selling the company to the industry?  Is this an attempt to be accepted into the MISO and PJM fraternities?  Is he trying to sell these potential projects before they are built?

Maybe he’s just attempting to sell himself and looking for the next job because he knows this ship is sinking. Sounds like he had a rough week in Iowa.


  1. "What does Michael Skelly have to gain by speaking at these conferences, " It feeds his ego, plain and simple.

  2. And that's one big, hungry ego he's carrying around.