Who enforces the "Code?" Clean Line says it does. How is this enforcement undertaken? Nobody knows. Despite continual public statements that Clean Line doesn't condone the kind of behavior that has been reported by landowners over and over again, there's never any obvious "enforcement," and the company's agents simply continue harassing landowners.
In a recent letter to the editor, Ms. Mary Adair Horsechief stated that “a representative of Plains & Eastern Clean Line recently dropped by” her home and he told her she “had no recourse but to let them take our land for their use.” Clean Line takes these assertions seriously and we do not condone or endorse statements like the one Ms. Horsechief claims was made on our behalf. Clean Line is committed to treating every landowner with consideration and respect. We require our representatives to follow a Code of Conduct that can be downloaded from our website. We strive to maintain long-lasting relationships with landowners by working in a respectful and collaborative manner. If you have information on interactions you have had with a Clean Line representative that goes against this code, we would like to know. Please contact us at 1-877-573-2851 or firstname.lastname@example.org and someone will respond to you in a timely fashion.
This isn't the first report of heavy-handed Clean Line land agent tactics, and I doubt it will be the last. There's something wrong with the company doing Clean Line's land acquisitions. They're not abiding by the Code of Conduct. What's the punishment? Judging from the continuation of this behavior... there is no punishment.
If you had contracted a company to do a job, given them a set of rules, and then the company systematically violated those rules and caused your company bad will in the community that could ultimately derail your entire project, would you fire them? I would.
Instead, Clean Line keeps making excuses for this kind of behavior and pretending it's doing something about it. Oh, poppycock, Mario! Actions speak louder than words!
However, the "Land Agent Code of Conduct" is an old transmission owner trick that has been recycled again and again. In fact, Clean Line's "code" was plagiarized nearly word for word from previous "Codes of Conduct" used by Allegheny Energy for its TrAIL and PATH projects. In its original form on the TrAIL project, the "Code" was enforceable by the court. The very idea that the company responsible for these transgressions would police itself is ludicrous!
In addition, Mario goes on and on disseminating his "facts" about how his project won't have health effects and will provide "opportunities" for landowners. He's preaching to the choir. No matter how many times Clean Line repeats this mantra, nobody believes it. A company selling the benefits of its own project is ALWAYS suspected of dishonesty and bias from its public. There is no amount of "information" from the company that's going to turn public opinion. It's just not going to happen.
Here's what's actually happening... a fantastically researched and fairly presented story about Clean Line from NPR, Big Wind Blowing Through North Arkansas. Give it a listen.
The jig is up, Clean Line!