"To bring Illinois forward in clean energy, we need dedicated direct current lines here in our state," said Taylorville's Patty Rykhus.
Does Patty think that HVDC lines bypassing Illinois will actually move "clean energy forward" in Illinois? Where might she have gotten that idea?
GBE spokespuppet Mark Lawlor tries to tell the reporter "In the first five years of this line being in operation it will reduce wholesale rates by $750M." Where's the proof of that, and why would he say such a thing?
First of all, the Missouri Public Service Commission recently examined the company's claim that the project would reduce wholesale rates in Missouri and rejected it.
The GBE production modeling studies do not support the GBE allegation that the Project would result in lower retail electric rates for consumers.
That still doesn't give Clean Line the eminent domain authority they seek in Illinois. Maybe Patty should educate herself before making statements on TV that aren't factual. And Lawlor should know better.
Dumping a whole bunch of "cheap" energy into a local market may have the initial effect of lowering prices through supply and demand, but Clean Line isn't selling electricity at wholesale. Its entire business model is based on power purchase agreements between generators in Kansas and east coast utilities. Lawlor leaves out quite a bit in his quest for the perfect (if not entirely factual) sound bite.
Big win for landowners in the story though. Landowner Clint Richter clearly articulates the problem of using eminent domain for purposes of enriching investors speculating in "clean" energy markets:
Shelby County landowner Clint Richter said that, "it's not that we're not for renewable energy, but we're against a private company coming in and taking land that's ours for their own private gain and I think that's what is really happening here."
WAND-TV's Ed Cross asked, "why is that such a concern?"
"Well it's a concern because I think all of us know what it's like to work hard to save up money to buy land to something that's special and important to you and to have someone come in and basically say 'hey I want that, I'm going to take that land, and I'm going to make some money off it,' I don't think that sits well with a lot of people," added Richter.