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Kansas Corporation Commission: Deny Clean Line’s above ground high voltage transmission lines

This petition had 831 supporters

A private company, Clean Line Energy Partners, LLC, is seeking final approval from the Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) to site a High Voltage Direct Current Transmission Line (“Grain Belt Express”) from western Kansas, through Missouri and Illinois, into Indiana.

This private HVDC line would travel overhead for approximately 700 miles and would neither purchase power from nor supply power to any intermediate points along its route.

The KCC has already granted the project Eminent Domain Authority. This means that once a route is approved, Clean Line can immediately begin “negotiations” with property owners for rights-of-way, secure in the knowledge that they can ultimately take what they want with the force of law.

Past history with similar projects in the U.S. have shown negative impacts to affected communities’ quality of life: destruction of prime farm ground and wildlife habitat, health concerns for humans and livestock, liability issues and a significant (± 30%) reduction in property values within sight of the line.

Finally, there is a real possibility that the Department of Energy (National Transmission Grid Study, 2002; National Energy Policy Act, 2005) will piggyback on this approval and designate the route a “National Interest Electric Transmission Corridor,” for future transmission lines. Existing corridors are a minimum of ¾ mile wide and expand to as much as 5 miles wide, providing for multiple transmission lines running side-by-side. Such a Federal designation would only expand and compound the negative effects of this project.

We support wind energy development in Kansas, but not at the cost of the livelihoods of so many Kansans.  And Clean Line has told us if wind cannot supply their lines at full capacity, they will transmit nonrenewable power as well.  So these are not necessarily “green” wind energy transmission lines.   A more sustainable clean energy future would be for Kansas to keep its wind in state and invite energy intensive industry (like manufacturing, or gigantic computer server farms) to relocate to Kansas where wind-generated electricity is cheap (because there's no need to build infrastructure to export it).  Does Kansas want a one-time pay-off, or a sustainable economic future?

If the state of Kansas is certain these transmission lines are a benefit to Kansas then the route should follow KDOT easements along interstates, and the KCC should REQUIRE THE LINES TO BE BURIED.  Burying the transmission lines would alleviate many of the above-mentioned issues. 

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