It wasn't too long ago that I suggested that Sierra Club should stick to hugging trees and quit trying to engineer the power grid. Although they were soundly rebuffed by the TVA in that instance, it appears that the Sierra Club isn't done trying to engineer the power grid yet.
A member of the Arkansas Chapter of the Sierra Club has decided that he can proclaim a transmission line "needed" if, in his opinion, it's in the public interest.
That's not the way it works. Need for transmission lines is determined by regional transmission organizations in most parts of the country. This is done through a pretty extensive and technical process. It's not done by a gaggle of arrogant know-nothings sitting around a campfire getting high and dreaming about creating a green utopia. It's not done by Sierra Club volunteers, either.
Sometimes, even real grid planners get a determination of "need" wrong.
The Clean Line projects have not been determined to be "needed" by any regional transmission organization.
Instead, the RTOs have selected other projects "as a way to reduce carbon emissions and thus reduce the risk of the damaging effects of global warming." But they have not selected Clean Line, therefore, Clean Line is not needed.
Because Clean Line is not needed, it is a venture in "capitalism." Capitalism is a "free market" system, where trade and industry are controlled by private owners. In a capitalistic society, no one may be forced to sacrifice his or her private property solely for the profit of another. Capitalism would mean that Clean Line would be required to negotiate to purchase the private property it needs for its unneeded project. It is in a communist state that private property rights do not exist.
When an infrastructure project is determined to be "needed" and in the public interest by a qualified entity with the knowledge and authority to approve it, private property may be taken for the public use. Clean Line has not been determined needed, nor granted authority to condemn private property, in Iowa, Missouri, or Arkansas. Eminent domain, need and public interest is not determined by the Sierra Club. None of the Clean Line projects has been fully permitted and are not "in progress" anywhere.
Clean Line has no customers, either generators or load serving entities. It is not needed. It will not shut down any coal plants. Not one. It also won't do anything to meet EPA regulations in importing states. The credits for wind generation may only be taken once, not multiple times by exporting states, and every other state on the way from generator to load. Clean Line will NOT speed up any carbon reductions. It's simply a plan for a transmission line that could carry energy produced by any type of generator.
Clean Line is greed masquerading as green. Because the Sierra Club knows little about electric transmission, some clubs have made the short-sighted decision to endorse it. An arrogant, confrontational, scorched earth path to a "cleaner" society will never succeed.
Sierra Club should be doing its transmission homework, instead of jumping on the first "clean" trojan horse that rolls by.