The company, which has almost 40 employees, has no current source of revenue.
But yet Skelly claims they're all heroes.
“You would think in eight years, you would have sort of a lull, but it’s a sort of a mad dash every day to move these projects forward,” Skelly said. “It’s more like an Ironman [Triathlon], not a marathon. It’s more like a decathlon, but it goes on for eight years.”
... neither TVA nor any other utility has signed a contract to buy the power the project would transmit.
Skelly said that while landowners’ opposition to transmission projects is “understandable,” the pushback from within the industry is more frustrating.
Pointing to Commonwealth Edison’s opposition to the Rock Island project in Illinois, he said, “Why are they doing that?..."
The article also claims
Clean Line has worked hard in Missouri to gain community support for Grain Belt.
“You have to build alliances,” Skelly said. “We’ve got support from labor groups, environmental groups, business groups, from political leaders … doing these projects without building those types of alliances would be really, really difficult.”
Skelly has said seeking DOE authority for the Grain Belt and Rock Island lines is an option but not his first choice because it is slow and costly.
Clean Line's investor line up keeps shifting. Clean Line likes to pretend its investors are quite hush-hush, but they manage to drop enough bits of random information in different venues that one merely needs to collect them all and do a bit of math to bring the picture into focus.
Clean Line spokeswoman Sarah Bray said Bluescape is now the company’s “principal investor,” although National Grid, ZBI and the Zilkha family have retained equity stakes.
GridAmerica Holdings (National Grid) has invested $55.7M and currently owns 40% of the company.
ZAM Ventures (Ziff brothers) has invested $73.8M and currently is the majority owner, with a 53% stake.
Michael Zilkha has a piddling $2.8M invested, which gives him a 2% ownership interest.
The remaining 5% (or $6.7M) is owned by "Clean Line Investment" which is some vague investment vehicle owned by "service providers and employees of Clean Line."
Total investment: Around $140M
Now Sarah Bray informs us that Bluescape is the majority investor, which indicates that Bluescape has dumped more than $73.8M into the Clean Line sink hole. Clean Line must be more than $200M in the hole to their investors over all, and still not a glimmer of hope in sight.
Here's what's REALLY going on with Skelly's projects (pay no mind to that "summary" in the article, it's missing quite a few key facts):
Rock Island Clean Line: The Illinois Supreme Court opinion said that Rock Island Clean Line is not a public utility, and therefore may not use eminent domain to acquire land for its project. The Court reasoned that since RICL had claimed it has not asked for eminent domain authority, that it didn’t need it and should proceed to build its project without eminent domain authority. I urge you to read and report on the actual Opinion, instead of taking the loser’s view of the case as a fact. See http://www.blockricl.com
In addition to not being a public utility in Illinois, RICL has also been denied the ability to ever use eminent domain in Iowa through new legislation passed last year. See https://www.iowastopricl.com
Grain Belt Express: The Illinois Supreme Court opinion on RICL determined it was not a public utility. If RICL isn’t a public utility, than neither is GBE, which is an identical project that also runs through Illinois. There is currently an appeal in the Illinois 5th District Court, an opinion can come at any time. The issue in that appeal is whether GBE was a public utility at the time it applied for its CPCN at the Illinois Commerce Commission. If RICL cannot be a public utility even after receiving a (since vacated) CPCN, than GBE cannot be a public utility before it even applies. GBE is denied for the third time in Missouri, and the opponents also filed an appeal in the Western District Court of Appeals. It is unclear which court will hear the appeal, and unlikely that the Western District will be overturned. Remember, the Western District’s opinion has already been examined by the Missouri Supreme Court and let stand. These are all fatal issues for GBE.
Plains & Eastern: The Arkansas delegation met with Rick Perry again just recently. Maybe you should ask them what they think, instead of asking Skelly what they think? While Skelly reports they have bought right-of-way, he failed to mention that right-of-way acquisition stopped months ago, and a land agent told a landowner that Clean Line was stopping all land acquisition because it had “bought too much right-of-way.” Skelly also forgot to tell the reporter about the recent rejection of Clean Line’s offer of $80M to the Cherokee Nation in exchange for rights to cross the Arkansas River. Without the Cherokee Nation’s permission, P&E is sunk. The reporter also completely failed to mention the ongoing Federal court challenge to DOE’s presumption that Section 1222 gives it condemnation authority. An important hearing is coming up next month.
A fire station "compound" and pictures of Bob Marley in your deserted office doesn't make one successful in the energy world. Perhaps one would need to pop one's head out of one's own derriere now and again to do a bit of a reality check. Maybe some of us are laughing with you... and maybe some of us are laughing at you.
I believe this looks like a portrait of a dying company whose leader is floating merrily down de Nile in an overpriced party boat. Party till the cash dries up (or the overly bright orange carpeting and quasi-mod decor makes you so dizzy you throw up). And don't forget to take a spin around the fire pole on your way out.