High Voltage Controversy Over Big Power Line

Iowa Farm Scene

A plan to build an electricity transmission line across Iowa is generating concerns from a number of farmers and other landowners.

Published on: December 4, 2013

Also, Conley says the company will pay $7,000 per mile in county property taxes. In Iowa, that would total to a little over $2.5 million annually. She says farmers can continue to plant crops and graze livestock under the power line, but buildings or permanent structures aren't allowed. In planning the route, she says Clean Line will build around existing structures.

Company could use eminent domain to gain access to land, in cases where landowners refuse to sign an easement

Sheridan says her group, the Preservation of Rural Iowa Alliance, isn't against the development of renewable energy. Wind power is green energy and that is good, she says. However, she says the landowners' group is opposed to a transmission line where the landowners have no choice.

If the Iowa Utilities Board grants Clean Line Energy a franchise to build the line, the project could move forward and the company could use the legal process of eminent domain if some landowners refuse to sign a voluntary easement with Clean Line. Sheridan's group has hired an attorney and is also contacting state legislators to try to get them to address these concerns.

If you have wind turbines on your property, you get to choose and you can work with the power company that's building the wind turbines, to get them to locate the turbines where you want them and you can negotiate a payment, says Sheridan. But with the RICL transmission line, you have no choice and no freedom to negotiate if the company uses eminent domain to force you to give them access to your land.

If you want more information on this issue, Sheridan's group has a website at www.iowastopricl.com. The Rock Island Clean Line Energy site is www.rockislandcleanline.com. There is contact information on these sites if you want to contact either Clean Line Energy company or the Preservation of Rural Iowa Alliance.

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  1. Ed Fisher says:

    We must all work together to stop this. Its just not right for this company to take our land from us. Its our land, we have spent years paying for it. For many of us, this land has been in our family for over 100 years. It is very wrong for some company out of Texas to come in and steal our land right out from under us to deliver power to the folks in Chicago. If Chicago wants clean power, let them build some windmills out on Lake Michegan. We must Stop this now.

  2. Block RICL says:

    At the Illinois Commerce Commission, experts have identified many red flags and problems with RICL's kool-aid sales pitch. Highlights and links can be found on: www.BlockRICL.com/testimony