Regarding the Associated Press story by David A. Lieb “Renewable energy efforts stymied by some transmission road blocks” (online Dec. 22):
I find the article and title very misleading. This article reads like a promotional advertisement by the American Wind Energy Association shaming landowners who are stymieing progress. The title would be more accurate of the situation if it read “Private investors’ attempt to acquire valuable easements using eminent domain masked by claims of renewable energy transmission.”
The article paints a picture of renewable energy’s future being threatened by land owners who unpatriotically are hampering CLEP’s attempts to build electrical transmission lines from wind-rich Western states to customers. Although the transmission line is painted as necessary and vital to the future of clean energy, the premise is a sham. It has not been proven necessary by any state’s regulatory commission.
In Illinois, the ICC granted approval with stipulations while other states have flatly said no. Currently, the Illinois Appellate Court is reviewing the ICC decision.
As a person who has been actively following the saga of CLEP and its attempts to market its plans for acquiring 200-foot easements across private lands in multiple states, I can confidently say this is not an issue of providing clean energy for the future. Missouri, Arkansas and Iowa have not given permission for CLEP and its 14 levels of LLCs to cross their states. Missouri and Arkansas determined it’s not in the best interest of their constituents.
Over the past 30 years, our federal government has been generously granting subsidies for development of wind energy. We have wind turbines on postage stamps and free curriculum offered to schools as wind lobbyist and front groups such as AWEA have made the wind turbine image synonymous with people’s idea of “clean energy.”
Unfortunately, we taxpayers have funded the wind hype, yet our federal subsidies have yielded a technology that still does not come close to being able to meet our needs. While wind energy harnessed for local use is viable, long haul transmission of DC electricity across multiple states is not feasible without federal subsidies or mandated RPS.
Jeanette Carothers • Earlville, Ill.
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