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home : opinions : letters to the editor   May 25, 2016

2/21/2013 1:17:00 PM
Letters to the Editor: We would be paying for Rock Island Clean Line's folly

Lately I’ve been hearing the term “Bridge to Nowhere” used in reference to the 500-mile-long DC transmission line the private company Rock Island Clean Line is proposing across Iowa and Illinois prime farmland.
The phrase refers to the fear RICL will get this power line erected at the rate of $2,000,00. per mile only to find it has no western “clean energy” to transmit or no market to sell expensive electricity to on the eastern end.
Some people say, “No big deal! It will just mean venture capitalists, a billionaire in Texas and three billionaire brothers from Park Avenue, New York City, will have made a poor investment choice and will have to suffer the economic consequences.”
The problem is we tax payers and land owners will be the big losers. If RICL succeeds at the Illinois Commerce Commission and gets public utility status that they are requesting through docket 12-0560, RICL will also have a right-a-way contract that says there is an easement 200 ft. wide through fields for perpetuity. It won’t matter if RICL goes under, they would still own right-of-ways across Illinois and Iowa forever and could rent or resell for other powerlines or pipelines. That farm land would be unavailable for development forever. For advocates of clean energy that also means no wind turbines could be erected on those 12,000 acres of easement and actually it would take out 24,000 acres as 200 feet power poles would have to have 200 feet clearance on each side in case they ever fell over. The land’s value would be depreciated forever forcing tax rates for others to go up to make up to for the counties loss of revenue. Productivity of the land would also suffer as aerial spraying, irrigation, weed control, compaction, and drainage would be compromised. As world population grows, placing a larger demand on food producers, can we afford to remove fertile land from production for a “private company’s folly”? is an informative website you can go to learn more about this issue affecting all of us.
Jeanette Carothers,

Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, February 21, 2013
Article comment by: METALWORKER

It's sure taking a bit of farm land there is no doubt. when one looks @ La Salle county though and some of our adjoining counties it is just a small portion of the land that has bee given over to energy production.
Look at the wind mill farms. Row after row of them and little is said and yet my electric bill keeps going up at an increase beaten only by the gas rate which gets higher and higher by the month.
That rate is said to be dropping due to fracking and look at the La Salle county farmland that is being turned into kink size sand boxes.
Take a ride South of the Osage curves and look at the mess that poor group of homeowners are dealing with I hope u feel good about that deal Utica. If that is how you treat your friends, I'll bet those folks are glad they didn't upset u.
And on top of that I paid $10.00 for a pound of beef last week and $ 4.10 for a gal. of gas. How about you?

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