Letter to the Editor

 

Franklin Co. Farm Bureau addresses Rock Island Clean Line

 

     The Rock Island Clean Line (RICL) project has been brought to the attention of the Franklin County Farm Bureau as well as other county Farm Bureaus in the last 12-18 months. Both positive feedback and negative concerns have been raised in the counties where construction is proposed.

     The Iowa Farm Bureau voting policymakers (made up of one representative from each county) have been discussing the issue at length over the last couple of years during their grassroots policy conferences. These annual conferences bring together members from every county in Iowa to discuss new and relevant issues affecting agriculture. If an issue is supported by a majority of the voting delegates, appropriate language is developed into official Iowa Farm Bureau policy.

     The policy that has come forth from the discussion on the transmission of energy is as follows: “A project to transport energy is in the public’s best interest when it benefits Iowa’s energy consumers or producers or improves national energy security.”

     A common concern is the perception that the RICL will not benefit Franklin County, as there is no physical connection to the Clean Line project in the county to either receive energy, or transmit our excess energy out of the area. Others will contend that it will free up the energy grid in surrounding counties to make better use of the energy produced here. Whether for or against the idea of RICL or wind energy, the wind farms have greatly benefited the Franklin County tax base.

   The current discussion is well noted by the Franklin County Farm Bureau as well as other County Farm Bureaus across the state. More discussion and debate may take place again this year at the policy conference as our member-driven grassroots process proceeds.

     As always, we encourage all land owners to know their property rights and always consult an expert legal counsel before entering into any contractual obligations regarding property ownership and use.

 

     Ian Plagge

     President, Franklin County Farm Bureau

     Latimer