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RICL still not coming through with answers

Published: Friday, Nov. 16, 2012 5:00 a.m. CST

(Continued from Page 2)

Hans Detweiler of Rock Island Clean Line’s rebuttal to a recent letter to the Morris Daily Herald was interesting… in a deceiving way.

Even in the response, Hans and RICL still refuse to say how much this wind energy from Iowa is going to cost. The time for RICL to substantiate their multitude of vague, generalized claims is over.

Produce the corroborating studies. Be clear about when and where you are touting billions of dollars of benefit while ignoring the huge financial negatives to consumers and taxpayers.

Hans Detweiler and Rock Island Clean Line continue to refuse to say how much this wind energy from Iowa will cost.

They claim my assertion it will cost upwards of $70/MWh is wrong. I stand by my earlier statements.

Again, according to the study recommended through the RICL Facebook page, wind energy needs to be priced at a minimum in the $60 to $70/MWh range. The report by Synapse Energy Economics is called “The Potential Rate Effects of Wind Energy and Transmission in the Midwest ISO Region.”

Page 30 says: “…wind power at levelized costs that could be as low as $60 to $70/MWh, without tax incentives.”

Detweiler is familiar with Synapse Energy Econ-omics, as they previously wrote a study sponsored by Detweiler’s employer, The Environmental Law and Policy Center, called “Repowering the Midwest.

Also, a chart from Clean Line Energy Partner’s own  PowerPoint presentation states the estimated delivered cost is $70/MWh.  This price includes a $25 “Transmission cost!” Just the ”transmission cost” alone is close to what we are currently paying for electricity today!

I stand by my claim Rock Island Clean Line is not being honest, truthful and forthcoming with Illinois residents and consumers.  The truth needs to be said by someone.

It also doesn’t surprise me that Hans Detweiler, a former adviser to Governor Rod Blagojevich, has the support of someone at the Citizens Utility Board. With Hans’ previous job at the Environmental Law and Policy Center, he had a very very close relationship with CUB.

Hans has written several articles for CUB newsletters.  Hans, CUB, and Governor Quinn are all politically connected. Therefore it is no surprise they support one another.  There is a long history of “helping” each other.

Heck, I fully expect former Governor Blagojevich supports Hans and RICL.  It’s not a surprise Hans Detweiler made the “BLAGO CLOUT LIST,” also known as the “REZKO CLOUT LIST.”

Hans would also like us to believe advances in wind energy have brought Illinois residents the current low energy prices. What about natural gas?  Our current energy prices are a direct product of economical natural gas and not renewable energy.

Yes, the state and national wind energy associations, for whom Hans Detweiler was a former paid lobbyist, would like the windmills to take all the credit for today’s low energy prices, but the truth is great advances in natural gas drilling has given us today’s economical energy.

Again, according to the Department of Energy’s Accounting Office, in 2010 we paid over $56/MWh in subsidies, grants and money for every megawatt of energy produced from wind turbines before the actual electricity cost.

Like any former adviser to Governor Blagojevich,  Mr. Detweilers words are carefully chosen. To borrow a term once used by Hillary Clinton, I need to “SUSPEND MY ABILITY OF DISBELIEF” to believe what Hans and RICL says is the truth.

The truth is RICL will not say how much this energy will cost without the government subsidies included. 

The truth is Hans has even admitted on video this project is not financially viable without the government subsidies to wind energy!  It’s on YouTube! 

The truth is RICL will not hold informational meetings in Illinois and let Michael Skelly, Jimmy Glotfelty, or Jayashree Dasia speak to us in an open group setting. A meet-and-greet event hosted by HDR Engineering employees representing themselves as RICL does not qualify as “transparent.” 

We are the true stakeholders in this project. This project is coming through our land. Land they want to take through eminent domain. We are the people who will be paying for this overpriced electricity as it is forced on us by RICL and our concerns are not being directly answered.  

Finally, RICL has continually failed to speak with honesty and truthfulness to Illinois residents. This PR game from a former lobbyist and retired state senator with half-truths is not playing well in Illinois. The residents of this state will know the truth about RICL either from the management of Clean Line Energy Partners or from people in Illinois who are investigating this company.

There is much more about RICL that needs to be discussed. I would suggest Michael Skelly start giving Illinois residents the answers we seek soon, as our patience and civility is becoming worn thin.  

If there are actually any “experts” or brains behind this project, now is the time to bring them forward. The guys currently communicating RICL’s position are failing.

Detweiler and retired state Senator Seiben are making a mess of this project because they won’t give us the answers we need. Coming into our counties and wanting to take our land for a private project and having the company’s spokesman belittle and ignore our concerns is not civility.

Our voice will be heard.

We are not about to let the next ENRON gain a foothold in our state.  

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