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RICL not in county’s best interest

Rock Island Clean Line, an overhead megawatt transmission line, would transmit electricity from Western states energy sources to a converter near Morris. The electricity will continue on the PJM System that Illinois nuclear plants use to supply Chicago and the East Coast.

A private Texas venture capitalist group, RICL drew a 130-mile path across Illinois to construct the line. It has filed this route with the Illinois Commerce Commission and requested the change status from private to public.

As a public utility, RICL will use the power of eminent domain to seize more than 12,000 acres of prime farmland for personal use. “Easements” will be 200 feet, equivalent to a 20-story building. Once RICL owns the land, it can build, file to change its purpose, or sell at a later date.

As written in an RICL project fact sheet: “Areas outside the route alternative may be added in the future and should not be considered exempt from future analysis.” If the ICC grants RICL status, it is free to go wherever. If ICC refuses, RICL may seek federal eminent domain, as it has done in other states.

This is an issue of RICL using our area. No one in our area can hook into or use the electricity on the line. It is an issue of a private group seizing our land to line its pockets. This is an issue not only with those in RICL’s path but everyone in rural Illinois.

Chicago has excess electricity and the East Coast in not requesting it. No one wants or needs RICL’s wind power, and Illinois certainly won’t benefit from the transmission lines devaluating land and competing with the electricity we produce in state.

Call Gov. Quinn, 217-782-0244, and the ICC, 1-800-524-0795. The case’s socket number is 12—0560. Check out blockricl.com. This site offers the opportunity to join a group open to anyone involved or interested in stopping eminent domain for this unneeded transmission line.

This land should benefit Illinois citizens and not a self-profit “transmission” company.