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Scrap the ill-advised SunZia project

Other proposals do not mislead the public with exaggerated renewables claims

IN HIS OP-ED of May 5, Tom Wray continues to push the marketing myth that his proposed SunZia transmission line(s) will be used almost exclusively for renewable energy. What he does not tell you is that the wind energy portion of this project has already been studied by the project’s predecessor, the High Plains Express Project, and that a third-party feasibility study concluded that it was not economically feasible to operate these transmission lines almost exclusively on renewable energy.

This study has now been withheld from the public record for over 23 months by the oversight agency, the Bureau of Land Management. I am a member of one of the Natural Resource Conservation Districts that has repeatedly submitted information about the High Plains Express Feasibility Study to the BLM since July of 2011.

SunZia has been grossly exaggerating the renewable energy benefits of its proposed project for almost four years now in order to justify significant environmental impacts to lands along their proposed path. The fact that they have spent so much of their own money on this misleading marketing campaign is not our concern as citizens.

However, it is of great concern that a (publicly funded) federal agency using public funds aided them in this marketing campaign by withholding information that contradicts these exaggerated claims of renewable energy development.

This exaggerated forecast of renewable energy development has been used as the basis for much of the analysis presented to the public thus far, including the highly publicized economic benefits study, the analysis of possible alternatives to the proposed project, the assessment of greenhouse gas emissions and the cumulative effects analysis.

It is time to cut our own losses as citizens and scrap this ill-advised project. There are other proposed transmission projects … that do not see the need to mislead the public in order to achieve their desired outcome.

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