Tulsa County Residents Taking Stand Against Major PSO Project
TULSA COUNTY, Oklahoma - Landowners in Southern Tulsa County are angry after learning about a proposal by PSO that could mean huge power lines cutting through thousands of acres of property.
The towers would be some of the largest in Oklahoma and many landowners are putting their foot down.
Mark and Lonni St. John have lived on the same land in Bixby for 20 years.
Last week they, received what they felt was an 11th-hour letter in the mail from PSO.
“11 hours and 59 minutes, we felt ambushed,” said Lonni.
It was to alert them of a town hall meeting, in four days, regarding the high transmission power lines that could cut directly through their property off 181st street and hundreds of other landowners in the area.
It's part of PSO's Wind Catcher Energy Connection, a way to transfer energy to Oklahoma and a number of surrounding states.
PSO said its priority is to strike a balance with all parties involved.
“Our main philosophy is to treat people with respect and to make sure landowners are fairly compensated if a line does come across their property,” said PSO Spokesperson Stan Whiteford.
But there isn't much time. PSO wants them up and generating wind energy by the end of 2020.
When asked if the tight deadline was for the federal tax credits, Whiteford said, “absolutely."
"All those savings then we can pass to our customers,” Whiteford said.
“This project has been done behind closed doors. I think they're lying to the people,” Lonni said.
At times, this makes Lonnie emotional for what this could mean for their family and future generations on their land
“This man has worked hard to provide all of this for us and she wants to raise her children in the same environment she was raised in,” Lonnie said.
“We're not going to stand still for big corporation greed and somebody has to stand up and has to start somewhere,” Mark said.
PSO claims this project could bring in $300 million in local property taxes and save customers more than $7 billion over 25 years.
The landowners opposing this have built this website highlighting their message.