Rock Island Clean Line Withdraws Request For Iowa Section Approval, Cites Illinois Legal Proceedings
The company behind the proposed Rock Island Clean Line says pending legal proceedings in Illinois prompted it to withdraw its request to approve the Iowa leg of its project.
Clean Line Energy Partners says the Rock Island Clean Line, or RICL, would carry electricity from wind farms in Iowa to eastern Illinois and beyond. It was initially approved by the Illinois Commerce Commission in 2014. However, there was opposition by the Illinois Farm Bureau, electric utility ComEd, citizens group Block RICL, and others. It led to an Aug. 10 ruling by a state appellate court halting the plan.
The court ruled the project didn’t meet the requirements of a public utility under Illinois law. That blocked regulatory approval and the use of eminent domain. Clean Line says it needs those rights to complete the route through Whiteside, Henry, Bureau, LaSalle and Grundy Counties.
Clean Line Energy appealed to the Illinois Supreme Court, which agreed to review the lower court’s ruling. The company says in published reports that they're confident the Court will rule in their favor. If so, Clean Line says it would restart the approval process in Iowa. A ruling could come as early as mid-2017.