Listening to the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) hearings online, pertaining to the Cardinal Hickory Creek project, I heard several
intervenors (lay people) cross-
examine representatives of the electrical transmission companies, challenging their hopes of erecting high voltage wires across the Iowa Driftless Area.
The need for the wires was challenged, eminent domain was discussed (in one case destroying a forest), and the economic loss with decreased property values was addressed, as well as visual and environmental concerns. The brave intervenors and property owners (approximately eight) stood up against the lawyers (approximately 20) who represented the Big Money CHC project.
Can this small group of intervenors be successful in stopping the erection of these towers across the Iowa Driftless Area? The IUB should consider that the existing high wires in western Iowa and in eastern Wisconsin were just pushed through without regard for other solutions that could bring more local economic value to the beautiful counties that the power lines would rip through.
IUB should heed the current appeal in Wisconsin which is concerned with: the biased vote by the Public Service Commission, the invasion of the Driftless Area, environmental issues, health issues, clean energy, economic issues — property values and the effect on tourism.
These issues are exactly the same for the Iowa section of the project. Just because the towers got pushed through in western Iowa and eastern Wisconsin, does not mean that CHC deserves to connect the lines, “just because.” The need must be justified! The project must be just!