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Clean Line files appeal with state high court

CHICAGO – Clean Line Energy has filed an appeal of a recent court decision that denied construction of its planned Rock Island Clean Line project in Illinois.

The company filed the appeal Wednesday after the 3rd District Appellate Court had ruled Aug. 10 to reverse a 2014 decision by the Illinois Commerce Commission to allow construction of the electric transmission line in Iowa and Illinois.

Clean Line said it was joined in its appeal by the ICC, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, National Resources Defense Council, and Wind on the Wires, a wind power advocacy group.

“The appeals court made basic errors in its decision that we hope the Illinois Supreme Court will identify,” said Hans Detweiler, vice president of Clean Line.

The appellate court’s reversal was based on its opinion that Clean Line did not satisfy the definition of public utility under the Illinois Public Utilities Act because it lacks utility assets, customers and operations.

The appeal of the ICC’s decision was spearheaded by the Illinois Landowners Alliance, ComEd, and the Illinois Farm Bureau.

The project route was to begin in Iowa’s O’Brien County, enter Illinois between Cordova and Port Byron, continue through Whiteside County just southwest of Erie, through the entire north edge of Bureau County, and end in Grundy County.

Rock Island Clean Line was first proposed 6 years ago. Iowa has yet to grant regulatory approval for the project.