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Mason County News
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Power Lines
Wednesday, October 7, 2009 • Posted October 7, 2009

The Future Of Mason County Is Now On The Line

After closely examining the originally proposed LCRA/PUC power line routing map for the new 345 kilovolt project, and comparing it to the alternate route through Mason County being promoted by the Clear View lobby, it becomes obvious that their routes are wholly inferior to the original proposal for a number of reasons:

1. The original LCRA routing takes advantage of the wide open, relatively undeveloped topography that already exists along the I-10 corridor – including Junction - and directly merges with the population centers the transmission line is designed to serve.

2. All of the alternate routings suggested by Clear View are targeted to move the route away from Junction, and land reportedly owned by Mssrs. Bill Nieman and Walter Pfluger. Each route is highly circuitous, requiring much longer transmission lines with supporting towers and infrastructure, and most importantly – adding tens of millions of dollars to the cost of this project – with some estimates as high as $75 million.

3. One of the routes being promoted by Clear View runs through some of the most scenic hill country in Mason county, and passes directly through the city of Mason, with 150 – 200 foot high steel lattice towers. Anyone familiar with the charm, vitality and tourism value of the “old Texas heritage” of Mason, will immediately recognize the irreparable damage this defacement will do to the city and surrounding hill country.

4. As previously reported, the proposed path of the transmission line through Mason county and the city of Mason, was drawn by Bill Neiman and his Clear View lobby group in Junction – set up to influence regulatory bodies to get the transmission line routing moved away from Junction. This raises a number of questions:

· Who are the government officials being lobbied?

· In what amounts is Clear View making campaign donations, promises or other leverage?

· What is the added cost of expanding the LCRA study area to accommodate the Clear View agenda?

· Most important of all - how does a non governmental political action group like Clear View Alliance, influence state representatives to pull a last-minute ambush of the original LCRA/PUC plan, which was acknowledged by public utility professionals as the most economical and least damaging routing solution? Who appointed Bill Neiman and the Clear View Alliance as the “Pied-Pipers of power line planning” for the Texas hill country???

The citizens of Mason county and the city of Mason must realize that a major economic, cultural and ecological tragedy may well be in our near term future if we fail to respond now to the Clear View challenge.

Sincerely,

Don Rutz

2414 Streeter Lane

Mason, Texas 76856

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