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Letters to the Editor

Freebies for RICL

Clear Line (CL) is an investment capitalist group owned by the Zapp and Zilkha brothers. This Texas-based group plans to establish four major long-distance electrical systems in different parts of the nation. Their path of high voltage transmission wires in our area is named the Rock Island Clear Line (RICL).

RICL has no connection to the former railroad or the town in Illinois. The name symbolizes their “dream.” The Rock Island Line delivered grain to the Eastern markets. RICL will deliver power from their wind turbines, Horizon Wind, Zilkha Renewables and their coal plants in the Western states to a potential market in the East, Washington D.C. That is transmitting power more than 1,200 miles.

Wind Power (WP) and Transmission Lines (TL) are components. Many of RICL managerial staff were recent employees of Horizon Wind.

This wealthy group, C.L., is reaping huge monetary amounts through various federal incentives programs as: Productive Tax Credits (PTC). This year, Renewable Energy (RE) is given $4.5 billion. TARP or “banking bail out package” included $150 billion for RE subsides. The bank gets tax credit on capital invested. RICL bank is Goldman Sachs of NYC. Latest addition to stimulus bill allots $160 billion for T.L. Translated, a tax of $500 for every man, woman and child. W.P. pays no federal tax. The list could continue.

Another freebie, RICL plans to hook into our Chattanooga Smart Grid. Illinois citizens paid $3.5 billion through their utilities bills to upgrade the grid so to adjust to the fluctuating energy from Illinois wind turbines. Many of our 30 wind farms are struggling now to compete with “Real Western Wind.”

Now is the time to stop RICL from marching across Illinois with their outdated steel lattice towers to our smart grid. High voltage wires can be buried. It is expensive, but so is stringing over 500 miles of wire and constructing over 3,000 towers.

This issue entails more than just the abuse of farm land, but the abuse of taxpayers and the people of Illinois.

On Sept. 27, the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC), unless RICL cancels again, is to decide if RICL can declare itself a public utility transmission company in Illinois. RICL doesn’t want ICC to hear the voices of the people of Illinois.

Mary Auchstetter


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