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Distrustful of transmission line statements

Published: Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012 1:15 a.m. CDT

It seems Hans Detweiler is campaigning harder for Rock Island Clean Line than the presidential candidates are for the presidency. He is a former lobbyist for the American Wind Energy Association in Washington and also used to work with Gov. Quinn. 

Hans thinks there are some misunderstandings about his company’s proposed transmission line. He stated the RICL will be delivering so much energy, your electric bills will be lowered. But, in an article called “Helping Hans” written by Stephen Daniels in Crain’s Chicago Business, Hans claims we have rock bottom wholesale power prices at this time, making this project economically unfeasible. He claims electric prices need to go up 50 percent before the line can make money. So, Hans, which is right?

The most important misrepresentation by Hans seems to be that RICL is going to use mostly the smaller mono-pole structures. According to Hans, mono poles are shorter, needing more poles per mile, and there's more steel in mono poles, which makes them more expensive than the 28 foot by 28 foot taller lattice poles. Which poles do you think they're really going to use?

The claim that 12,000 acres would be needed for easement is correct, despite Hans claiming only 3,000 acres. RICL’s website states the easement could be 200 feet wide. Do the math: 200 feet wide times 500 miles equals 12,012 acres.

RICL land agents are already trying to sign up landowners to contracts, telling them this is a done deal. This isn't a done deal. Landowners, never sign a contract someone else writes. Always take it to a lawyer of your choice, not their lawyer.

These contracts from RICL and wind companies are binding on the land for several generations. Once you sign their contract, you lose quite a few of your property rights on your land.

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