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Project Information

Detweiler's Deepest Doo-Doo Disingenuous Double-talk Debut:

Detweiler says, "RICL would be just like MidAmerican, Ameren or Commonwealth Edison."

Umm. Let's see. Here's how that would be true.

1. They would be called a public utility and have the power of eminent domain.

2. Their transmission lines would carry electricity from all generation sources- including coal.

Now, shall we examine the number of ways RICL would NOT be like MidAmerican, Ameren or ComEd?  

1. RICL has never developed a transmission line project and major questions about their ability to do so have been raised in Illinois Commerce Commission expert witness testimony.

2. RICL has NO employees, never will, and would turn over control to someone else. They want to build the lines to serve customers in “states farther east,” not to use to serve local/regional customers.

3. RICL has no contracts with or history of hiring local workers- just a whole bunch of promises that they haven’t put in writing.

4. RICL is a subsidiary of a subsidiary of a shell company “Clean” Line Energy Partners LLC, a Texas company registered in Delaware with billionaire investors Zilkha and Ziffs.

5. There is no economic or reliability need for RICL. It is a purely speculative project. RICL is completely independent of ANY coordinated plan for transmission expansion.

6. RICL hasn’t calculated ANY COSTS. Therefore, costs cannot be compared to other alternatives to show that RICL it is a better solution than upgrading existing easements, or investing in energy efficiency, or LOCAL renewable energy.

7. RICL’s finances are “confidential and proprietary.” According to experts witness testimony at the ICC, they have not demonstrated the financial resources to undertake the project.

8. RICL has no customers and has not demonstrated that any “eastern states” want to buy its product.

9. RICL would trade electricity as a commodity based on an Enron-like business model that was criticized for driving prices up. RICL would increase local electricity prices by levelizing Illinois’ lower electricity prices with those of higher cost markets it intends to serve.

10. RICL’s lines would not serve, but instead compete with, local generation plants, and therefore local tax revenues and permanent jobs.

11. RICL HVDC lines would decrease the value of the land and tax base and would forever limit the development potential of the prime land it crosses.

12. RICL’s probability of abandonment is high, yet they have no exit plan nor offer any security.

13. The employees of “Clean” Line Energy Partners, the shell parent company, are protected from any liability for the project by two, three, and four levels of LLC’s.

14. RICL would not contribute to the reliability of the grid, and instead, increases its vulnerability and compromises national security.

15. “Clean” Line has absolutely no ties to the area and could easily turn and sell the prime easements to anyone as the “Clean” Line investor and executive staff did with Horizon Wind. It was flipped through Goldman Sachs and then sold to an international conglomerate.

16. RICL wouldn’t be around to look the people of Illinois or Iowa in the eye and be accountable for the short and long-term costs to Illinois workers, taxpayers, ratepayers, and landowners.


18. We bet that MidAmerican's project manager actually has experience building transmission. RICL's project manager has a B.S. in political science and is an ex-AWEA lobbyist, yet "claims" to be able to build THE BIGGEST (by far) HVDC line EVER in the United States. 


RICL is ONE venture capitalist company's idea of how to make a hefty profit. It does NOT consider the wind power available in Lake Michigan, nor on the Atlantic Coast - both of which are better wind resources than what RICL is proposing to tap into. If the same amount of money were spent IN state on energy efficiency programs and distributed generation, we would be supporting, by far, more permanent local jobs and benefitting the local renewable energy development.

How "Clean" Line Energy is like another Enron: Coming Soon!

Biographies of the Key Players in "Clean" Line: Coming Soon!

About the Investors:

The parent company of RICL is "Clean" Line Energy Partners. The major venture capitalist investors are ZBI Ventures and the Zilkha brothers. Watch here for more information on the ties to Horizon Wind, Goldman Sachs and EDP (an international conglomerate).

On November 27, 2012, it was announced that Britain's National Grid bought "a significant percentage" of "Clean" Line Energy for 40 million dollars. Who are the investors in Britain's National Grid?

Note: Since the publication of this page, according to testimony during the Grain Belt Express ICC hearings it was discovered that the above investors chose not to invest further in "Clean" Line during the first quarter of 2015. A new investor Bluescapes now has 100% preferred stock. Further investigation into Bluescapes shows they are essentially in oil and gas. 

What percentage of the "economic benefits" touted by RICL will actually be foreign investments going to foreign companies building the transmission lines and industrial size (100 miles x 100 miles) of wind farms?

Stay tuned here as we learn more about the billions in American taxpayer dollars flowing out of the country...