Montana Landowners Bring Wind Power Project to a Standstill

Phil Taylor of the New York Times writes about an ensuing battle between a Montana wind power transmission project, backed by eminent domain rights, and Montana landowners, fighting for cultural conservation of their land.

Phil Taylor reports on the conflict between Larry Salois, a Montana native who owns property on a Blackfeet Indian Reservation, and Tonbridge Power Inc., with its 215-mile Montana-Alberta Tie Line project: a $209 million power line project to stretch all the way to Canada, and possibly the West Coast.

"The company, backed by a new state law passed in spring that allows private power line developers to condemn property, is asking state judges to grant easement rights across more than 30 miles of land so it can continue construction of the high-voltage line, which would run from Great Falls to Lethbridge, Alberta."

Salois, however, and other landowners like him who oppose the project, are fighting the state's new eminent domain law and condemnation practices. However, "their opposition illustrates a major challenge transmission projects face across the West in finding suitable pathways for new lines that can connect remote renewable energy resources to burgeoning populations in the Southwest and West Coast."

Full Story: Conservation Concerns, Landowner Opposition Stifle Mont. Transmission Project

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