One look at Lonni St. John’s grandchildren feeding their tiny horses and pet cow, Norman, and you’re hooked on this slice of heaven they’ve built on the 181 ranch.
“Norman, you’re on the news!”
The Wind Catcher project is a proposed path of a high capacity power transmission line that would run from a wind farm out in the panhandle right through Bixby’s backyard, say Public Service Company of Oklahoma officials.
“We have owned this property for about 20 years,” said Lonni St. John.
A property which now has a slew of signs out front, screaming resistance to what’s become a private hell.
“Why did PSO not call me? Why didn’t they come and sit down at my kitchen table and have a glass of tea and let’s talk about this? Instead they choose to bully us,” she said.
“Our goal is to treat everyone with respect,” said Stan Whiteford of PSO.
But that sentiment is hard to swallow for property owners like St. John who could soon see their landscape radically changed with the massive power lines of project Wind Catcher.
“And it runs 3/4 of a mile on my property,” she said.
St. John’s also concerned about what that could do to her property value.
“It will devalue my property; it will devalue everybody’s property that’s involved,” she said.
Then, there’s the topic of health concerns.
“I suppose it’s disputed, but I don’t know anybody who doesn’t believe that these things are harmful,” said Maurice Storm who lives just about a hundred yards away from the St. John’s.
“What PSO is doing is, they’re going to give cancer to Bixby’s children,” he said.
“There is no scientific evidence to support that. There are no causal relationships that have ever been shown in the lab during the peer reviewed scientific studies,” said Whiteford.
PSO also says, it’s important to consider the $4.5 billion investment in the state and the benefit to consumers.
“The opportunity to save PSO customers $2 billion dollars,” said Whiteford.
“Well, if you do the math, that’s like $5 a month to each rate payer, and I mean, I’ll pay them $5 a month not to give my kids cancer,” said Storm.
“When he turns the camera off I’m going to cry,” said St. John.
“We’ve worked for 20 years to piece this property together, and my husband’s worked really hard. It’s not that we’re lucky, it’s that we have worked hard,” she said.
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