Alma crossing of Mississippi and Blair route now favored???

Filed under:News coverage — posted by admin on June 9, 2009 @ 6:11 am

Whatever are they thinking…

A correction/clarification from Grant Stevenson:

Today's news articles aren't quite right -- we are 
not changing routing focus.  Rather, we've casted 
a wider net for study -- corridors to the Arcadia 
and Blair areas are additions, they do not replace 

In addition, all three potential Mississippi River 
crossings are still being studied.  

In today’s STrib:

New route for power line on Minn-Wis border

It’s also being picked up in C-O-A-L country, wonder why:

KXMC-Minot, ND – New route for power line on Minn.Wis. border

Both of these are a shortened version of this article, from Winona Daily News:

CapX2020 power lines may detour around river valley

By Mark Sommerhauser |

A proposed high-voltage power line through the Winona area may detour around the Mississippi River valley, based on a new proposal by energy companies seeking to build the line.

CapX2020, an 11-company consortium including Xcel Energy, got first-stage approval in April from Minnesota regulators to build a $1.7 billion network of high-voltage lines that includes a line from the Twin Cities area to La Crosse, Wis. Local opponents of the plan announced Monday that they’re raising money to mount a legal challenge to the April ruling.
Meanwhile, federal environmental officials appear to want the lines — which may cross the Mississippi River at Winona, Alma, Wis., or La Crescent, Minn. — away from the river valley.

Upper Mississippi Wildlife Refuge officials likely won’t allow energy companies to acquire more right-of-way to run the high-voltage line through the refuge, the agency notified CapX2020 last month. And in 2008, refuge officials suggested the lines should be routed away from the Mississippi River valley.

Also last month, CapX2020 officials proposed a second option for the Alma route, which previously routed the lines only down the river valley, through Fountain City, Wis., and Trempealeau, Wis. The new detour would route the line from Alma east to Blair, Wis., then south to La Crosse, adding at least 15 miles to the route. CapX2020 spokesman Tim Carlsgaard said Monday that the new route was a response to “a lot of concern” from citizens and regulatory agencies about a high-voltage line extending down the river valley.

While CapX2020 has initial approval from Minnesota authorities, the project also needs at least one permit from the Wisconsin Public Service Commission — a process that’s just getting started.

CapX2020 foes, including the Citizens Energy Task Force and Bluff Land Environment Watch, gathered at Wilson Township Hall on Monday night. The groups said the lines would cause visual and environmental harm, and said Minnesota ratepayers could foot the bill for a coal-energy expressway through Minnesota to Chicago and points east.

I wonder if they know Dave Stetzer’s in Blair, Wisconsin…  If I were Dave Stetzer, I’d regard this as  a personal affront, and if I were CapX 2020, I’d duck and cover.  This is going to be “interesting.”

image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace