The following letter is being sent to landowners affected by the CenterPoint/Cross Texas transmission line project. Please share the letter with your friends and neighbors as we build a coalition to oppose this project.
Grimes County Citizens and Landowners,
I am writing this letter in reference to the proposed Centerpoint/Cross Texas electrical transmission line project currently proposed for Grimes County and the surrounding region. This project is rapidly approaching the point at which an application will be filed with the Public Utility Commission for a docket number. Current published information indicates that this will likely occur the early part of April. At that point, the PUC will make a decision in six months or less, meaning that a final decision on this project could occur this fall.
After attending an early meeting in Waller, the next two meetings held in Navasota and Iola, and the most recent meeting in Navasota, I noted two things. First, there is widespread community opposition to this project. Second, there is no community-wide effort to organize opposition to stop the project. Instead, what has happened is that the situation has devolved into a case where landowners are forming into smaller groups in an effort to protect their own property. This pits neighbors against each other and, while understandable, it does not solve the problem. This strategy will result in some landowners being forced to accept this transmission line as a permanent fixture on their property.
I would like to propose a different strategy. A more comprehensive approach to supplement the strategy currently being pursued by these smaller groups. In addition to these local efforts to alter the right-of-way, a larger effort should be pursued to STOP THE PROJECT. If such an effort were to be successful, everybody would win, and no landowner would be forced to accept the new transmission line, and the ensuing loss of property value. The cost of such an effort, while larger than the cost of efforts to move the line, is manageable if the cost is shared by all the interested and affected parties. That is the purpose behind this letter.
Many hours of research and investigation have been dedicated to the feasibility of such a defense. Nine different attorneys with expertise in transmission line and Public Utility Commission issues were interviewed. The general opinion received from these interviews was that such an action is doable, given enough time and resources to adequately prepare the case. The particular circumstances concerning this project provide a unique opportunity to undermine the validity of the Centerpoint position regarding the actual need for a new transmission line. All that is needed to move forward with this effort is enough interested parties being willing to participate in the sharing of the cost.
We have been fortunate enough to have lawyers help with the initial efforts to organize this community action, and we have a good understanding of the effort necessary to attack the necessity of the transmission line, including the hiring of expert witnesses, discovery, and other very time-sensitive actions that must be started almost immediately and certainly before the application is filed. In the end, if enough landowners are interested in supporting the effort, it is my belief that we have an excellent chance of achieving success in stopping this project. But, we need to get organized, with active and significant financial participation, in the next couple of weeks.
Again, this effort is intended to complement whatever efforts any of you may undertake with respect to your own properties and is unlikely to be successful without intensive, concerted action by the community.
If you would be interested in participating in this action, or would like more information prior to making a decision, please contact me. Please keep in mind that the timetable to mount a successful opposition is short, and that the time for action and unity is now.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Grimes Citizen Advisory Group
grimescitizenadvisorygroup [at] gmail.com
Submitted by: Howard Robinson