Friday, November 1, 2013

Michael Skelly, Political Campaigns, GBE & RICL



In the last couple of days, I spent some time watching Michael Skelly's old campaign commercials from when he ran for the United States House of Representatives.  It was interesting.  Every single one of his campaign commercials on YouTube is focused on being a previous windmill guy.   From the commercials, it looks like it was a single issue campaign. I suspect no one was able to draw the connection between Horizon Wind Energy and being a good Congressman.

I guess it is not surprising the focus on RICL is wind energy, wind energy, wind energy, which makes me ask "Who really builds a powerline and runs it at about 40% capacity?"
Do the math. Take the documented annual megawatt capacity from ICC docket 12-0560 and break it down per hour.  It's nowhere near 3,500 megawatts.

So is RICL and GBE really about wind energy?

At the ICC’s Mendota Public Forum about RICL, I didn't hear too many people who actually believes Clean Line's claim that this powerline is really needed.  Of course if you look at the New Mexico Renewable Energy Transmission Authority, a project only needs to be 30% wind & solar to be considered "clean".  At 30%, it gives a new definition to the term "kinda pregnant".

Did anyone at Clean Line Energy listen to the public’s statements to the Illinois Commerce Commission in Mendota…besides Aaron Chambers, their lobbyist from ThomsonWeir?  He sure wrote a lot of notes when someone from “Mayberry” had something to say.  The biggest thing that impressed me about these statements was the public’s knowledge of this company. 

In spite of what Clean Line may claim, there are no “NIMBY” arguments from the public.  Every one of us explained how the Rock Island Clean Line is not needed or how Clean Line claims are nothing more than false advertising.    Making a strawman “NIMBY” argument is an interesting strategy for Clean Line. 

The coming months are the conference and convention season.  Michael Skelly is working these conferences hard attempting to put on a good appearance for the industry.  He isn’t selling the industry on why RICL or GBE are needed.  He’s attempting to sell the industry on the company grand experiences with landowners. 

This is another interesting sideshow in the process.  The industry and conferences are not a deciding factor.  At best, these companies don’t care if Clean Line succeeds.  They probably see Clean Line as a bunch of clowns.  At worst, they are getting annoyed with Clean Line’s antics and becoming a dark cloud for the industry.

These Conference Sideshows are irrelevant.  The public understands what is important and said it repeatedly to the Illinois Commerce Commission at the Mendota forum.  These Clean Line Energy powerlines are simply not needed, and like the Skelly campaign for Congress, Clean Line is taking its eye off the ball.   

In any case, I can’t resist to make a few comments about Clean Line and the industry’s conferences….more to come. 

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