Much has been learned by Clean Line's style of propaganda and keep everything positive. In the spirit of positive spin, we can now say Mark Lawlor is beginning to agree with BLOCKGBE! This is bigger than one transmission project.
Electric Policy.com recent article is a hoot! Yeah, it’s largely behind a paywall but even still it says enough. The article is about Grain Belt Express choking at the Missouri Public Service Commission and Clean Line threats of intimidation of federal eminent domain. Perhaps Clean Line thinks it is the nuclear option, but it is more like attempts to scare the public with threats of the boogeyman. Federal eminent domain doesn’t exist. The Administration and the Department of Energy cannot execute federal eminent domain by Executive Order. Federal eminent domain can only be created by legislation (in an election year). It is doubtful the Secretary of Energy and Clean Line can hire the Army to enforce a non existent federal eminent domain. The best line from this article is;
“But Mark Lawlor, Clean Line’s director of development, says the issue is larger than Missouri or the project.”
HA! Clean Line finally concedes that point! BLOCKRICL and BLOCKGBE have been saying from the start that this is bigger that one powerline!
These projects don’t need to be rerouted and one project does not have more merit than another. None of Clean Line’s projects have merit. These projects don’t need to be rerouted. This company needs to go out of business, but Mark Lawlor probably doesn’t agree with that point yet.
Clean Line’s idea appears to be positioning itself for help from actual utility companies in lobbying for federal eminent domain. Good luck with that after Clean Line has refused to work within the Regional Transmission Organization’s planning and expansion process.
There is a current process for transmission siting. A Regional Transmission Organization determines there is a congestion or constraint. Companies propose solutions. After consideration the least cost and best solution is recommended. The company then approaches the states’ utility commissions for approval and if necessary, eminent domain authority.
As we are witnessing with Plains & Eastern Clean Line’s federal application under Section 1222 of the 2005 Energy Policy Act, federal eminent domain simply doesn’t work. The Department of Energy is a political extension of the Executive Branch with potential influences from lobbyists. Democrats wouldn’t want to give the Dick Cheney Administration eminent domain power any more than Republicans want to give it to the Obama Administration The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) would move from a Rubberstamp Machine to become a combination farce and circus, a real FERC FARCUS with no possible means of public representation in an industry regulated by insiders. Does Clean Line really think Regional Transmission Organization and supporting utilities will support removing a process that is beginning to work for a political process?
Actually, this situation is kind of ironic. The problem with most trade publications like Electricity Policy.com is trade publications do not want to offend anyone within the industry. It is rare to find a publication that actually reports on an industry like RTOINSIDER rather than regurgitate company propaganda. Unfortunately, trade publications become so watered down and bland, they lack relevancy. In Energy Policy.com’s effort to write a good propaganda piece from Clean Line Energy, under the assumption “what’s good for Clean Line, is good for the industry”, they are probably offending a good portion of the industry. Most likely, the more Clean Line Energy llc pushes for federal eminent domain, the more the industry will be backing away from it.