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RICL arguments misleading

By Staff | Sep 12, 2014

To the editor,

Is the Rock Island Clean Line trying to fool people into believing their transmission line project is needed in Iowa?

This line will do nothing for Iowa’s infrastructure or energy needs. The line is not connecting to Iowa’s grid system and is merely cutting across the state sending electricity to Chicago.

The majority of wind farms supporting this line could be in South Dakota, Nebraska and Minnesota, while the labor force to build the line would be specialized from other states and after completion, only 5 to 10 employees are needed to maintain the line.

RICL claims they can’t predict profits on this transmission line project.

Isn’t it strange they can predict costs to build, numbers of construction jobs and the amount of wind infrastructure revenue, but RICL can’t predict investor profit potential?

What lending institution, or local government, would accept that kind of flawed business model from any other potential start-up business?

Is RICL trying to hide its profits from landowners and the public so landowners don’t get “greedy” and demand more compensation for their easements?

Landowners who choose to put up a wind turbine on their property receive an annual royalty payment whereas landowners in RICL’s path are forced to accept a perpetual easement with a one-time payment.

RICL’s claim of fairly compensating landowners with an annual easement payment option and 2 percent escalator is misleading.

The annual payment option is only calculated on the poles not the easement. Is RICL intentionally using this tactic to “pump up” its easement payment?

Isn’t it also interesting that RICL claims the project will benefit counties and the state with loads of tax revenue, and yet it seeks tax abatements?

Taxpayers, electric consumers and landowners will be the big losers from the RICL transmission line. Taxpayers are forking out billions of dollars in wind subsidies so billionaire investors can take thousands of acres of private property by eminent domain for their own economic gain.

The transmission line would devalue thousands of landowner’s property, mainly farmland, causing hardships for those private businesses.

Wind energy is more expensive than conventional power without the additional costs associated with building 500-plus miles of transmission lines and two converter stations.

These additional costs will send the already skyrocketing electricity prices in Iowa to the moon.

Don’t be fooled. Do not sign a voluntary easement with this company.

Kim Junker

New Hartford

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