Mason County News
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Power Lines
Wednesday, August 25, 2010 • Posted August 25, 2010

Dear Editor,

A number of people have remarked that the LCRA transmission lines could bring in additional tax revenues. This is correct, but the real cost to Hill Country residents is tremendous.

100% of the cost of the LCRA transmission line is past directly onto everyone with an electricity bill. Additionally, affected property owners are forced to underwrite a public project with their private properties as LCRA will take full advantage of the eminent domain laws whereby property owners are forced to lease land to LCRA. Your neighbors will suffer a devastating financial hit as their property values plummet by as much as 50% — that is if a buyer is willing to pay for land with 200-foot tall lattice towers on a 200-foot wide clear-cut easement.

The tragedy is that the entire LCRA route from McCamey D in West Texas to the LCRA Comfort Station in Kendall County is an excessively long boondoggle as it bypasses logical markets in Odessa, Midland, San Angelo and other west Texas cities in favor of San Antonio, Austin and even Houston. San Antonio and Houston are much closer to the wind turbines on the coast, thus requiring shorter, more cost-effective transmission lines. Austin could be better served by tying into existing transmission lines in West Texas.

Even an I-10 route preferred by many Hill Country residents doesnt address the core problem our elected representatives have failed to comprehend the new reality of sustainable energy. Sustainable energy isnt sustainable if it destroys everything in its path through inefficient planning and needlessly long transmission routes that lose expensive energy en route to the customer. The only winner in this fiasco is LCRA who gains a very long transmission line at public expense.

Why should you care if this LCRA transmission line does not directly affect you? Besides paying for a classic boondoggle, current routing standards do not protect subdivisions, private property or the Texas Hill Country. Because you could be the next target unless our elected representatives become very serious about designing a truly sustainable electrical grid and transmission plan that is efficient, fair and moral.

Call Senator Troy Fraser at 512-463-0124 and tell him to kill the LCRA transmission line through the Hill Country. Another delay, more studies or adjusting the route wont do. Tell him you are holding him personally responsible for the future of our beautiful Hill Country and the future of affordable, sustainable energy in Texas.

JD and Kim Kidwell

Junction, Texas

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