Mason County News
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Power Line Debate
Wednesday, October 14, 2009 • Posted October 14, 2009

Dear Editor:

The Clear View Alliance (CVA) is a non-profit group created to ensure that the LCRA builds the legislatively mandated CREZ transmission lines in a manner that does the least damage to the Hill Country.

Unfortunately, misinformation, such as that included in Don Rutz’s editorial of last week, is being disseminated and it is needlessly pitting neighbor against neighbor.

First, CVA did not “draw a transmission line” through Mason County and the city of Mason. Only the LCRA can propose routes. Only the Public Utility Commission can approve them.

CVA did ask the LCRA to follow its and the Public Utility Commission’s routing criteria, which encourages the use of existing rights-of-way. Originally, LCRA’s proposed lines cut through virgin ranchlands.

Using its collective voice, the Clear View Alliance requested that LCRA expand its initial study to include two existing rights-of-way, one which runs through Mason and Menard counties following an existing138 kV transmission line and the other which follows I-10 and runs through Kimble County.

Second, CVA is not a lobbying or political action committee. CVA is organized as a non-profit corporation under Texas law. We have not made any political contributions. (All candidates and political officials must provide records of contributions to the Texas Ethics Commission, so this statement is easily verified by searching the commission’s website. All lobbyists must be registered with the commission as well.) As citizens, we contacted our elected representatives and made them aware of our concerns. Both Sen. Troy Frazer and Rep. Harvey Hilderbran have publicly supported the 1-10 route, which, again, cuts through Kimble County.

Third, expanding the study area is costing the LCRA very little except time.

While the new routes under consideration are longer, using existing rights-of-way will benefit society as a whole by protecting wildlife habitat and minimizing other potential environmental damage.

Because existing rights-of-way offer ease of access and other construction benefits, it is probable that the actual cost of construction per mile using existing rights-of-way will be less.

Remember, these transmission lines are permanent and the Hill Country will get no do-overs. We have to get it right the first time.

It is important that the citizens of Mason County get involved. We invite you to work with us to make sure that these lines do the least amount of damage to the land we all love.


Bill Neiman

Clear View Alliance

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