On Tuesday, July 19, 2011, the Fayette CountyRecord newspaper had an article on the proposed transmission line that CenterPoint Energy is proposing to build from the Fayettville Coal Plant to the northwest area of Houston. In this article, it stated that CenterPoint Energy had “waved the white flag” and ditched its plans to build a proposed 345 KV transmission line through rural central Texas in favor of looking at alternative routes along the I-10 and US 290 highway corridors. This information is incorrect and we would like to take this opportunity to correct the record.
The truth is that CenterPoint has delayed the filing of its proposed transmission line application with the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) for a couple of reasons. First, legislation was passed this previous session in Texas by Rep. Lois Kolkhorst and Sen. Glen Hegar that requires the PUCT to revise its rules when considering whether to approve proposed transmission line applications. Specifically, the PUCT must now adopt criteria that will determine whether such transmission line projects are economically viable or not and whether cost savings will result to Texas electric consumers. The PUCT has just begun this rule-making process which could take from 2 to 3 months to complete. Second, CenterPoint Energy is looking at creating new alternative routes along the I-10 and US Hwy 290 corridors. CenterPoint Energy has sent a letter to elected officials stating that it will NOT file its transmission line application with the PUCT until the rulemaking is completed and the additional routing studies are completed.
What does this mean? Only that CenterPoint Energy has indefinitely delayed the filing of its transmission line application with the PUCT until the above two criteria are met. CenterPoint Energy has NOT “ditched” its plans to consider proposed transmission line routes through rural central Texas. Rather, CenterPoint Energy is considering making some revisions to its current proposed routes through rural central Texas (including the Shelby area) while also considering new routes along the I-10 and US Hwy 290 corridors. All routes are still in play with CenterPoint Energy planning to make some modifications to those routes. Once these two criteria are met, CenterPoint Energy still plans to file its transmission line application with the PUCT recommending several different routing alternatives (including the current routes through rural central Texas along with new routes located in the I-10 and US Hwy 290 corridors).
We cannot be lulled into a false sense of security that CenterPoint has ditched its plans to propose transmission line routes through rural central Texas!
That couldn’t be further from the truth. We need to continue to fight this battle on all fronts. Now more than ever, it is crucial that we wage this fight with all available resources to protect our interests and preserve the pristine beauty of our area. We have a great opportunity to effectuate a positive outcome for our landholders during the PUCT rulemaking so now is the time to step up the fight to protect our interests.
Your continued participation and support are crucial to our success. Not only are we waging a battle on a grass-roots level, we are about to embark in an effort to effect the rule-making process at the PUCT. Our voice needs to be heard in a professional and effective manner.
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Thank you again for all of your support. Please be sure to share this update and our website with your friends.