One might suspect that the news of Texas-based Clean Line Energy Partners withdrawing its application for a nearly 500-mile renewable energy transmission line running from O’Brien County, Iowa, to the Chicago area and passing through portions of northern and eastern Grundy County would send the landowners who spent the last three years fighting it tooth and nail into a frenzy of joy, but according to players on both sides of the issue, the battle is far from over.
“I think it’s a victory, but then again, you’re never sure with a multi-billion dollar investment firm,” Dike-area farmer and anti-RICL activist Eric Andersen said. “Whether it’s a total victory or not, I’m not sure, but it’s definitely a good thing.”
The proposed $2 billion project has been mired in controversy over its use of eminent domain against the wishes of hundreds of affected landowners, and those in opposition poured into a series of local meetings in 2013 and 2014 to voice their objections to the plan. The Clean Line would transport electricity generated from wind energy in northwest Iowa to 14 states east of the Mississippi River, cutting through rural areas near Stout, Dike and Reinbeck in Grundy County.
“They shouldn’t be allowed to take advantage of private property rights because our farm field is in the middle of nowhere,” Andersen said. “It seems like someone was sitting in an office in Houston and said, ‘Well, we’ll just put the line through here. There’s nothing going on here.’”
Read more in this week’s Grundy Register.
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