As Executive Director of the Iowa Wind Energy Association and a supporter of the Rock Island Clean Line, I would like to respond to the letter submitted by Ms. Hartwig (“Pakistan financial aid, clean energy company raise questions,” Monday, Oct. 28, 2013).

Just as Iowa leads the nation in producing and exporting corn, soybeans, eggs, and hogs, we can also lead the nation in wind energy. Iowa has enough wind energy to meet the needs of our state 44 times over. That’s why we need to support new infrastructure, like the Rock Island Clean Line transmission project, to allow Iowa export this resource.

The Rock Island Clean Line is a $2 billion transmission investment that will spur wind farm development in Iowa. It will create thousands of construction jobs and hundreds of permanent jobs to build and operate the transmission line and the resulting wind farms. Commercial buildings to house operations and maintenance personnel will be built in the small towns near the new wind farms. Communities hosting the transmission line, in addition to those with wind farms, will receive tax revenues that will support local governments and rural schools. Landowners will be compensated fairly for this infrastructure on their property.

The Rock Island Clean Line will enable Iowa to grow its wind energy industry and continue to lead the country as a renewable energy pioneer. For these reasons, and so many more, I support the Rock Island Clean Line and encourage you to consider the positive impacts this project will have in your area.

Harold D. Prior

Iowa Wind Energy Association

Milford, Iowa

(19) comments

Scott Thorsen

Lets talk abput energy consumption. It's unfair to compare 1950 energy consumption to 2011. A more accurate trend is comparing energy consumption for the past 10 years. The Energy Information Agency has some interesting data. Energy efficiency is working. Ratepayers are consuming less.

Energy consumption is also no longer tied to the nation's economic expansion. The model is broken. The economy has expanded faster than energy consumption. This is the new economic model. While it is easy for Clean Line Energy to make implications we are under the old model, this is simply not the case.



Electricity use in 2012 - 4050 billion Kilowatthours

Electricity use 2003 - 3883 billion Kilowatthours

It's like Global Temps recently,.... electricity use and global temperatures are still going up, they just aren't growing as fast as they were 10 years ago .... but they are still trending up none the less


Speaking of global warming, what do you think is going to happen to electrical use for air conditioning and refrigeration as the average temps get warmer and warmer?

Scott Thorsen

What is the value of a 500 mile long Right of Way Easement?

A contiguous easement's value is based on the potential income for the transmission line and not the current market value for the property.

Suppose there is oil under the ground or diamonds in the ground. Yes lets use diamonds as an example. Suppose you have 160 acres with diamonds in the ground under the Iowa soil. Does the value of the land have any correlation to the value as farmland? No.

Is farmland on the outskirts of Davenport worth more than farmland in O'brien County?

How about the land optioned to Clean Line for the O'brien converter station. Was that land sold for fair market value of farmland or did that land have added value.

Most likely that land for the converter station had added value because of the location.

Location. Location. Location.

In the same manner, a 500 mile contiguous easement has added value. Easements are not bought at a discount to farmland prices. Easements are bought a premium to land prices. Why? They lessen the value of the land. They restrict future potential development. They encourage other undesirable development. They pollute the land or care a strong hazard of potentially polluting the land.

For these reason, easements are sold at much higher premiums than market value.

RICL should be offering $45,000 per acre.

Suppose RICL did offer such a fair value for an easement. Public sentiment would not be on the side of the landowners. With RICL offering such a paltry price for purchasing the land, it reduces public support. Who suffers from RICL more han the affected landowners?

There is no gain for landowners to have RICL forced upon them, but only losses.

Scott Thorsen

What industry actually comes out with an eminent domain or easement project and says "we want to pollute your land and not be liable for it."


Natural gas?



Why is HVDC transmission any different. Of course they are going to claim to be clean. That's why they've siddled up against wind. They want the appearanceof being clean. As landowners we have heard it and seen it too many times before. It is our duty as protectors of the environment of our land and homes to question RICL's claim to the farthest extent and when we find a project that does not meet merit, need, or benefit, it is our responsibility to make a stand.

I have seen three pipeline and one powerline come through our small farm during my lifetime. This is the first project my family has opposed. The benefit is not there. There merit is not there. The need is not there.

Scott Thorsen

Keep in mind it is only an assumption that new generation will go on RICL. With depressed energy market in MISO, a lot of exisiting generation can and likely will find its way to RICL.

There are a couple pollution aspects to RICL that are starting to concern me.

First, stray current is a documented problem for HVDC transmission. While the pipeline industry has done a great job documenting the problems of stray current pollution and legitimizing it as a form of pollution, what damage does stray current pollution do to corn roots?

My second concern as a corn producer is the electrostatic fields created by HVDC. What does this do to corn leaves? Cleans Lines documentation says HVDC is as harmless as a television tube. Yet, the pipeline industry says gasoline should not be dispensed anywhere near HVDC transmission. As farmers working around and under the Electrostatic Pollution, we really NEED to know the potential hazards beyond the company's whitewash.

Did you know one of the problems during the the Dust Bowl was electrostatic fields created by the dry air and blowing dust? It was learned Electrostatic can damage crops. Electrostatic is a funny thing. It can act differently according to weather conditions.

Leading theories are also moving away from dairy cowes having issues with stray voltage and moving more towards stray current, which is a documented issue with HVDC.

Electrostatic fields can be a funny thing. I've seen it shock the heck out of the guy operating a rack and pinion gate while loading rail cars of corn. I was sure glad I didn't have his job that night. I have heard of electrostatic arcing off a barge spout onto a steel covered barge as corn is loaded. Weather conditions are a huge factor.

So what happens if weather conditions are just right during corn pollenation? Will 250 bushel corn become 150 bushel corn due to the added stress?

In the end, this is pollution created by electrostatic fields and pollution in the ground created by Stray current. Will it effect corn? Will it devalue the productivity of the land for perpetuity? Will it affect the value of the entire field?

These are legitimate questions and RICL has avoided these issues by steering the conversation toward electromagnetic fields and stray voltage, issues associated with AC transmission.

As true stakeholders in this project, we deserve legitimate and scientific answers before the powerline is approved to be built.


LMAO .... like stray current isn't a huge problem in AC transmission ... actually it's worse because current can be induced into anything that cuts the electromagnetic fields

High intensity electromagnetic fields = stray current

Stray current in a pipeline isn't dangerous to health other than it causes electrolysis which causes the lines to leak, a major problem in that crud we get from Canada .....

You are simply repeating nonsense you don't actually understand at all because it's what you already decided you wanted to hear ......


BTW, if you have stray current you inherently have stray voltage too because one cannot exist without the other ....

You don't even know the high school level basics much less the advanced theory and science


Static electric fields can be perceived, but do not penetrate the organism. A person exposed to an electric field will distort the field and enhance the strength of the field at the body surface to levels above those in the unperturbed space. Static electric fields can exert a force, for example, on body hair, which may be perceived. However, because such fields are not time varying, the electric fields induced within the body from the external field are negligible. Therefore, independent of the ability to perceive the field by the stimulation of body hair,******* there is no biophysical mechanism to explain how exposure to static electric fields could directly influence biological processes.*********

Oak Ridge National Laboratory - HVDC Power Transmission Environmental Issues Review 5-29-1997

Block RICL

Where are you going to be in the next 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 years when the health effects and land devaluation become known?


DC transmission is infinitely more safe to health than high voltage, high current AC with it's high intensity electro-magnetic fields that cause cancers and other health problems

Exactly what health effects are you talking about?

Block RICL

LOL. Show me a line of this magnitude anywhere in the U.S. and ANY health study relative to this magnitude of D.C. line. And with DC, it's static electricity, not EMF. If "Clean" Line execs are so sure it's soooo safe, why are they avoiding populations and why are they protected by two layers of LLC's? What sort of bonds or guarantees are they willing to give against any possible health and environmental affects that may become known in the future?? None- and that in itself should tell you something.


DC doesn't have high intensity electromagnetic fields so there is nothing to study .... You are simply making stuff up based on your own and others' ignorance

If you actually had the slightest clue about the science you wouldn't act as if it were some sort of Black Magic ....

Ironically it was Edison that was the biggest believer in DC over AC but the ancient technology of that era, the virtual Stone Age of modern electronics, couldn't make DC work over long distances. That's no longer the case and DC can be made to not only go long distances, it's can do it more efficiently

Besides if we truly need less electricity, which is a falsehood, we use more today than we did 10 or even 5 years ago, but let's say it's true for the sake of argument. Wouldn't it make more sense to get it from renewable sources than continuing to sell out our grandchildren's future by burning coal or leaving a million tons of nuclear waste behind for them to deal with?

FACT: Electricity consumption totaled nearly 3,856 billion Kilowatthours (kWh) in 2011. U.S. electricity use in 2011 was more than 13 times greater than electricity use in 1950.


If static electricity had the current you claim it does then it would knock out every computer in the area and that's not happening is it? Nothing zaps a MOSFET junction like static electricity and at microamp levels

They don't route through citioes because the costs are simply prohibitive .... and if they did you just be whining about that too ....

All LLC's do is protect Investors from having their personal assets stripped away if there were a bankruptcy ....

Block RICL

The point is, the people trying to shove this project down the throats of those who don't want it, couldn't care less about the long term repercussions to the landowners.

Think "Clean" Line respects the landowner?? LOL. Read the description of the conference they are sponsoring and some of the session descriptions:

Block RICL

The package that RICL is offering landowners is far, far, far from fair. Being in wind, you should also see that FORCING landowners to take a mega high voltage DC line through their property for a FRACTION of what landowners (by CHOICE) are paid for a wind turbine is grossly unfair, AND it forever limits the development potential for that piece of property..... and the surrounding area. The environmental injustice issues with this project are glaring (not to mention the existing laws and constitutional rights RICL is trying to skirt) ..... perhaps you're blinded by the "green."

Block RICL

LOL. Just the same old talking points written by "Clean" line in their effort to sugar coat their real intentions. Read for yourselves the REAL problems raised in expert witness testimony.

Has anyone bothered to check out if two competing projects are needed? RICL is COMPLETELY independent of ANY plan for grid expansion. The MidAmerican project, which WE are paying for through that transmission part of our utility bill, is in direct competition with RICL. RICL alone says they would facilitate building 100 x 100 miles of wind farms to feed into their line alone. Has ANYONE considered what the environmental impacts of this?

Has anyone asked the "Clean" Line investors and execs how much they ALSO have invested in the wind companies that are likely to "benefit" from the billions of OUR tax dollars that would go into new wind farms??

Has anyone really bothered to look past the kool-aid sales pitch before supporting RICL? Just one quick look would reveal that RICL's "economic benefits" DON"T INCLUDE ANY COSTS and their tax "benefits" are called a "replacement" tax in Iowa. Now why would that be?


The Iowa Utilities Board denied RICL's Motion to Bifurcate on Wednseday Nov 27th 2013.
The IUB denied RICL's motion to bifurcate the Franchise process.
This is the conclusion:
Based upon a consideration of all of the relevant factors, the Board finds that Clean Line has not shown good cause for bifurcation of this matter to separate the eminent domain issues from the rest of the issues in this proceeding. Any inconvenience to Clean Line from denial of bifurcation is relatively insignificant when compared to the significant and unavoidable inconvenience to all other stakeholders if the proceeding were bifurcated. The motion for bifurcation will be denied.


I say yes to the clean line.

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