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This is an opportunity

Published: Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2012 1:43 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2012 1:44 p.m. CDT

We all depend on electricity every time we turn the lights on. In our ever-changing world, we use more and more electricity to operate our televisions, to run our refrigerators, and to cook with our microwaves. There are transmission lines (wires) to move the power from where it’s generated to our homes, farms, factories and communities. We rely on that infrastructure day-in and day-out and take for granted the use of electricity when the lines that move it are out of sight, out of mind. Without that infrastructure, power would be more costly because of the limits placed on supply.

Now it’s our turn. We have an opportunity to be part of an infrastructure project that will allow our country to develop and use huge quantities of clean, domestically produced energy. Yes, the Rock Island Clean Line will enable new wind projects out of state to move the power produced to Illinois and beyond. Illinois has done a great job attracting wind supply chain manufacturers to set up shop within its borders, and — due to the Rock Island project — lots of new jobs will be created here in Illinois in the wind industry and construction. I understand that Clean Line has worked for the past two years to better understand landowner concerns about their project; they have worked to address those concerns in the development of the route and are offering fair compensation for the location of their project across Illinois. In fact, in a recent op-ed in the Bureau County Republican, Doug Jones wrote that: “Based on today’s local land prices, easement widths and structure types, its is likely we will offer $150,000 to $200,000 per typical mile of right-of-way.” 

This project is an opportunity to play a part in leaving this world a better, cleaner, safer place for our grandchildren and future generations. Not to mention, the role of meeting the needs for electricity and keeping power costs affordable. I see this as a win win for everyone.

Steve Barlow

Princeton

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