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Opposing RICL

Published: Monday, May 20, 2013 5:01 p.m. CST • Updated: Monday, May 20, 2013 5:02 p.m. CST

We adamantly oppose Rock Island Clean Line placing power transmission lines through our state of Illinois. The cost in our natural resources, health quality and finances would be negatively impacted in an insurmountable way.

RICL’s proposal is to supposedly deliver wind energy from Western Iowa (actually a maximum of about 30 percent wind with the rest being from coal, gas, etc.) to the East Coast of the United States. This proposed transmission line that is to go through LaSalle County and cannot be utilized here or in most of in Illinois.

All local property owners will eventually need to pay increased real estate taxes if this project becomes a reality. These transmission lines will devalue property values adjacent to the lines and have a ripple effect through the county. Mr. Detweiler has failed to mention these transmission towers will not pay any real estate taxes once public utility is secured. RICL has “offered” to pay $7,000 per mile for a short 20-year term in return for the county’s cooperation. We believe this is being offered as a cheap incentive for LaSalle County to pave the way for RICL. We do not believe this will begin to cover the loss of revenue now, or 20 years from now when we get nothing from RICL.

No permanent jobs will be created in LaSalle County. East Coast governors have stated to Congress they do not want Midwest wind because it undermines renewable energy development and permanent jobs in their own states. However, real estate appraisers will be in high demand in order to acquire justifiable lowered real estate taxes for their clients.

Health concerns are of major interest with this project. It is not clear what the safety of people living anywhere near these towers will be due to lack of solid scientific data. We have been informed that the Eddy current loss from DC transmission lines is considerable and not safe to work under for any length of time.

Illinois natural resources will be greatly harmed by RICL. Illinois productive farmland, native plants and wildlife will be compromised. Our state and local ecosystems will be plundered.

This merchant transmission is not part of our electric grid and is NOT coordinated with any of the new transmission projects we will pay for through our utility bills. Our tax dollars would be paying for the supposed development — all out of state, but at our expense. We feel the benefits are greatly exaggerated without disclosing the tremendous costs. RICL is a privately-owned company of wealthy individuals wanting to use our taxpayer dollars and the power of eminent domain to make them richer!

Linda and Robert Dolder

Ottawa

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