2010 Transmission Line News
December 9, 2010
The Clear View Alliance Perspective
CVA was recognized as a meaningful and significant party in the recently completed PUC hearings in Austin. “Speaking about long-term social and ecological costs must have sounded like Greek” reflects Bill Neiman. Read more here.
December 8, 2010
Save Our Scenic Hill Country CREZ updates
The PUC has ordered cost effective alternatives for two CREZ lines, while progress continues on the big one, McCamey D to Kendall. Routing decision should be made before Christmas. Click here to read the latest from SOSHE.
November 11, 2010
Controversial Hill Country Power Lines Canned
To Hill Country landowners’ undoubted relief, the Public Utility Commission will cancel plans to build one controversial wind-power transmission line, as well as a portion of a second. Read full Texas Tribune article here.
Town wages artful opposition to power line
In an effort to thwart a proposed electric transmission line that will skirt their town, the people of the tiny town of Clifton, northwest of Waco, sketched out a novel argument Wednesday to the Public Utility Commission: The line would hamper the town’s ability to attract artists and inspire art. Read full Statesman.com article here.
November 10, 2010
What’s A ‘CREZ’ Anyway? Meeting tonight
An informational meeting for anyone who would like to know more about CREZ transmission lines will be hosted by Save Our Scenic Hill Country Environment (SOSHCE) tonight in Fredericksburg. Click here for details.
November 1, 2010
Public Invited to CREZ Transmission and Wind Energy Presentation
A presentation entitled “CREZ Transmission Developments and The Rest of the Truth About Wind Energy” will be featured as the key part of an informational meeting hosted by Save Our Scenic Hill Country Environment (SOSHCE). The meeting will be at 6:30pm on Tuesday, November 16, 2010 at the Gillespie County Farm Bureau building. Details
October 24, 2010
Wind power showdown set in Austin
To get a sense of how contentious Monday’s hearing about where to build a massive electric transmission line through the Hill Country will be, consider this: It’s being held at the Austin Convention Center. That’s big enough to hold more than 1,000 people — and there are easily that many with a stake in the outcome. Read full San Antonio Express article here.
October 21, 2010
PUC Comments Support Line Alternatives
When the PUC met Thursday, two of the three acknowledged that alternatives filed by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas last week for the Kendall-to-Gillespie and Gillespie-to-Newton sections of the wind energy transmission lines appeared to be cost effective. Those comments were encouraging for opponents of the lines who agree that the ERCOT suggestions are less invasive than the route proposed by the LCRA. Read full Fredericksburg Standard article here.
October 16, 2010
Of Windmills, Powerlines and Sand Plants
As an advocate of private property rights, I support the ability of any landowner to make decisions about the disposition of their property. I’ve always been able to count on the practicality and good sense of those around me to make sure that, no matter what they were doing on their property, it did not infringe upon my property rights. Until now. Read this editorial from Mason County here.
October 4, 2010
Hill Country Transmission Line updates from SOSHE
Click here for the most recent update from Save Our Scenic Hill Country Environment following ERCOT, PUC, LCRA actions to construct transmission lines through the Hill Country. The next SOSHE meeting is set for November 9th.
September 29, 2010
PUC could save more than $140 million on proposed lines
There may be a less expensive method to bring wind energy from West Texas than building proposed power lines through the Hill Country. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas released its analysis on alternative routes for the Gillespie to Newton and McCamey D to Kendall to Gillespie transmission line routes Monday. Read full Daily Times article here.
Hill Country power line seen as only option
There is no cost-effective alternative to building a transmission line through the Hill Country, according to the state’s electrical grid operator. The proposed line would bring West Texas wind power to the state’s most populous cities and is being fought by Hill Country landowners, who say the clear-cutting and massive lattice towers that would carry the wires would decimate the most beautiful and ecologically sensitive land left in Texas. Read full San Antonio Express article here.
September 24, 2010
PUC Reaction Raises Power Line Concerns
If two steps forward had been made in the effort to curtail the construction of wind energy transmission lines in the Hill Country, then one step back was taken last Wednesday (Sept.15) when the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) in Austin cast votes that would slow down grassroots efforts to lessen the impact of those lines or move them out altogether. Read full Fredericksburg Standard article here.
September 20, 2010
Windfall in New York
In this New York Times opinion article, Stanley Fish discusses “Windfall;” a documentary recently appearing at the Toronto Film Festival which looks at the impact windmills had on the small town of Meredith, New York. Read full article here.
September 10, 2010
How Devotion to Progress Looks Down on Land Stewardship
“As a people, we get once-in-a-lifetime chances to make a difference by fulfilling our responsibility to the future. The construction of 2,300 miles of really big, industrial transmission lines, on top of 160-foot wide clearcut rights-of-way, fits into the “forever” category.” Read Bill Neiman’s opinion piece published in the Austin American Statesman here.
August 30, 2010
Wind transmission lines across Hill Country face holdup at Public Utility Commission
By the time the first segment of the Hill Country line came before the commission in April, the commissioners told the LCRA to go back to the drawing board on proposed routes. And now, with commission Chairman Barry Smitherman signaling his unwillingness to go forward, the commissioners appear to be on the verge of scotching the line altogether. Read full Statesman.com article here.
August 20, 2010
Hill Country elected officials urging re-evaluation of transmission lines
Public officials participated in the August 19th PUC Open Meeting in Austin; “CREZ transmission line would have a significant negative impact on the Hill Country which is truly a unique area…” Read the summary from SOS Hill Country here. Senator Fraser continues to push for use of existing rights of way. Read Fraser’s letter to the PUC dated Aug 19th here.
August 10, 2010
LCRA Newsletter announces procedural schedule for Hill Country CREZ
LCRA TSC mailed about 5,100 notice letters to landowners along each of the 75 alternative routes the same day it filed the application on July 28. Newspaper notices describing LCRA TSC’s proposed routes began running in area newspapers the week of Aug.2” August 27th is the intervention deadline. Complete LCRA Newsletter can be viewed here.
August 9, 2010
SOS Hill Country requests re-evaluation of transmission line
SaveOur Scenic Hill Country Environment (SOSHCE)is an organization of more than 500 members in Gillespie, Llano, Mason, Kerr and Kimble counties. They are highly concerned about the negative impacts that the McCamey D – Kendall – Gillespie CREZ line will have on the future of the Hill Country and are asking for a re-evaluation of the need for these lines. Read their letter to PUC here.
Transmission Line Interveners Meetings Tomorrow, August 10th
Clear View Alliance is hosting sessions with their legal team to help Hill Country landowners unite to fight the destructive impacts of massive transmission lines through our region. Meetings will be held in Harper, San Angelo and Junction. Learn more here.
Transmission Line Seminars Offer Information and Options for Landowners
Five transmission line seminars are scheduled across the state featuring expert information on the electric transmission line process, CREZ, and options for private landowners who may be impacted by proposed transmission line routes. Read details from Texas Wildlife Association here.
July 28, 2010
LCRA TSC files application with Public Utility Commission for new transmission line across Hill Country
The line would connect the approved McCamey D Station to be constructed north of Eldorado with stations in Kendall and Gillespie counties, providing more reliability and a new path for wind power to get to market. Counties that could be impacted by this CREZ project include Schleicher, Sutton, Kimble, Kerr, Kendall, Gillespie, Menard and Mason. Read more here.
July 21, 2010
LCRA to propose routes for Kendall transmission lines to PUC July 28
With a Twin Buttes to McCamey D route approved earlier this month, LCRA Transmission Services Corporation will present proposed routes for the McCamey D-to-Kendall-to-Gillespie transmission line project to the Public Utilities Commission on July 28. Read full Boerne Star article here.
July 13, 2010
PUC selects route for new transmission line that LCRA TSC will build in Schleicher, Irion and Tom Green counties
The Public Utility Commission of Texas on July 1 chose a route for a new transmission line project intended to carry renewable wind power through Schleicher, Irion and Tom Green counties to more populated areas of the state. View route map. Read more.
June 29, 2010
The politics of transmission lines
“People should be angry with our governor, their legislators, the state and the utility companies not only because of the destruction these new power lines will cause, but because it appears this was all done for the age-old reason of greed and power.” Read full Go San Angelo article here.
June 21, 2010
LCRA TSC suspends further development of Gillespie-to-Newton transmission line
LCRA Transmission Services Corporation (LCRA TSC) has put on hold further development of an 85-mile transmission line in the Texas Hill Country awaiting further guidance from the state on whether the project still is needed. Read more here.
June 14, 2010
Hill Country CREZ project updates
SOS Hill Country Environment reports several encouraging developments regarding the planning of transmission lines from Gillespie to Newton and also McCamey D to Kendall to Gillespie. Hill Country elected officials continue to question the process and the need for all of the lines. Read more…
June 9, 2010
Need for high voltage transmission lines questioned by PUC Chairman
Last week, Barry Smitherman, Chair of the Public Utility Commission of Texas, asked the Electric Reliability Council of Texas to “thoroughly re-evaluate the need for the Gillespie to Newton transmission line” that has been proposed to carry wind energy generated in West Texas to population centers along the I35 corridor. Read full Llano News article here.
PUC: Take another look at the grid
The chairman of the Public Utility Commission of Texas is continuing to press the operator of the state’s vast electric grid to reconsider the need for a new and potentially intrusive transmission line through Burnet and Llano counties. Read full Highland Lakes Newspapers article and supporting documentshere.
May 28, 2010
Kerrville alarmed by proposed power towers
Kerrville – City Council voted Tuesday to oppose a route proposed by the contractor that calls for a 345-kilovolt line to track Interstate 10 through valuable parcels here, including the city’s gateway at Texas 16. Read full SA Express-News article here.
May 10, 2010
SOSHE meeting Tuesday evening in Fredericksburg
“Transmission Line Easements in Lieu of Condemnation”, 6:30 May 11th, learn more about this and other related news from Save Our Scenic Hill Country Environment here.
April 27, 2010
Negotiating Transmission-line Easements in Lieu of Condemnation
Save our Scenic Hill Country Environment (SOSHCE) will be hosting the presentation “Negotiating Transmission-line Easements in Lieu of Condemnation”, May 11th in Fredericksburg. The presentation is open to the public. Click here for details.
April 23, 2010
Utility commission rejects route of line to bring wind power from West Texas
A final decision on the route of an electric line intended to carry wind power from West Texas through the Hill Country took a tumble Friday after the state agency nixed the options before it. Read full Statesman.com article here
April 21, 2010
Get on the Record, Stand Up and Be Counted
Hill Country residents have another chance to tell our stories regarding the LCRA high-voltage transmission lines. Your personal story can be put on the record as part of the scoping meetings hosted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). Read more here.
April 18, 2010
Up to date news about CREZ from SOS Hill Country Environment
Hearings continue April 23rd regarding the Fredericksburg to Lampasas line. US Fish and Wildlife begin Hill Country public meetings regarding the Environmental Impact Statement. Mason County in the News and SOSHE schedules a meeting for May 11th in Fredericksburg. Details here
April 14, 2010
Public Must Get Involved to Protect Endangered Hill Country Environment
Common sense tells us that clear-cutting a path through the Hill Country’s heart and erecting 18-story towers to hold high-voltage transmission lines will have environmental impacts. Even the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA), the utility power player, isn’t disputing that. In fact because LCRA knows that the damage is unavoidable, they have been working to find a way around the requirement to protect endangered species: they are trying to obtain an Incidental Take Permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by developing a Habitat Conservation Plan. Read full Clearview Alliance Op-ed here.
April 1, 2010
Lobby Watch: Political Juice Amped Up $5 Billion Power-Grid Contracts
From Texans for Public Justice: The Texas Public Utility Commission awarded almost $5 billion in electrical-grid contracts to energy companies. The contractors’ PACs and executives, in turn, pumped almost $5 million into state elections over the past five years. Grid contractors also spent up to $45 million on Texas lobbyists during this period. Read more…
PUC expected to make decision on wind transmission lines in April
After a string of hearings, open houses and debates, the Public Utility Commission is preparing to make decisions in April on the hotly contested routes for the transmission lines bearing West Texas wind power to the central part of the state. Read full Statesman.com article here.
March 28, 2010
Power line plans jolt Hill Country
A sense of bitter resignation permeates the Hill Country over proposals for new electric transmission lines now advancing through state and federal regulatory processes. Read full SA Express article here.
March 22, 2010
CREZ project Environmental Impact public meetings
Friday, March 19th The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced it will hold five public meetings in Texas as it begins work on a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) related to the building of new transmission lines in parts of central and west Texas The meetings will take place in San Angelo, Junction, Comfort, Lampasas and Fredericksburg. Dates and locations will be posted on this page. More here
March 21, 2010
For all its ties to old energy, Texas has the tools to lead the way in plugging in to the sun
As the nation’s largest energy consumer, leading emitter of carbon dioxide emissions and vanguard of the traditional energy industry, Texas might seem an unlikely candidate for the world’s solar market leader. But with the combination of an expansive solar resource, recent success with wind power, extensive natural gas installations, competitive electricity markets and commitment to add transmission capacity, Texas might become just that. Read full Statesman.com article here.
March 19, 2010
Transmission line updates from Save our Scenic Hill Country Environment (SOSHCE). Read here
March 2, 2010
SOS Hill Country Environment member updates as of March 2nd
The latest news on CREZ transmission lines. Click here
March 2, 2010
Hill Country Deserves Protection of Environmental Impact Statement
Organizations across the Hill Country are asking state and federal agencies to ensure that protecting the Hill Country environment is a primary consideration as sites are selected for the high-voltage transmission lines soon to be built throughout the region. Read full media release here.
March 1, 2010
An Open letter to LCRA and PUC
The LCRA is finished with this last round of open houses but people in the Hill Country still have many concerns. It’s not too late to send in your comments. Read this open letter from one landowner and learn more. Read more…
February 26, 2010
Wind power that makes great sense
You might be wondering, however, what exactly a “small wind system” is and whether you should consider bolting one to your roof. Read all about it in Gazette.com’s article here.
February 24, 2010
Power Line Concerns Draw More Than 500
More than 500 citizens from Gillespie County gathered at Pioneer Pavilion Thursday for a transmission line open house held by the Lower Colorado River Authority. Read full Fredericksburg Standard article here.
February 17, 2010
Gillespie County residents heat up over transmission lines
A new website is launched offering a “plea for common sense” in the Hill Country and information about LCRA plans. The site encourages landowners to sign a petition urging specific action. Click here.
February 16, 2010
Clear View Alliance exhibits Model of Monstrous Lattice Tower at LCRA Open Houses
To illustrate the impact that lattice towers will have on the Hill Country viewscape, Clear View Alliance members (CVA) worked all last week to build a surprise for those who attend the Lower Colorado River Valley Authority (LCRA) Open Houses on transmission line routes in the coming weeks. Read full CVA article here.
February 15, 2010
Wind Energy’s Ghosts
Thought provoking and informative article from American Thinker on the long term blight and economic sense of wind generated electricity. Read articlehere.
Shock Treatment – Negotiating Transmission Line Easements
The Trans-Texas Corridor threatened to take massive amounts of land for transportation purposes before the project was scrapped. Now, with wind turbines sprouting up across Texas, the need for transmission lines sets the stage for more condemnation of private land. Read more here.
February 7, 2010
Wind-generated electricity will require wide swaths of land
The vast wind farms of West Texas promise to put a dent in the demand for coal-fired electric plants. But delivering that green energy to where it’s needed most — the state’s biggest cities — will leave scars on some of the most coveted land. Read full SA Express article here.