BOSQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Some New Mexico dairy farmers are fighting to keep a massive power line off their property. They said it could hurt their property value, their views, and even their cows and your milk.
The open space of land in Bosque, New Mexico is where people said those high voltage transmission lines will be built, and they’ve started a petition to stop it.
"It’s an eyesore, it’s a health scare, they’re ugly, they’re going to ruin our scenery, our lands, our pastures, and our homes," said Bosque resident Romy Baca.
Baca, along with more than a dozen locals, met with KRQE News 13 on Wednesday. They said the company, Pattern Development, which is working with the New Mexico Renewable Energy Transmission Authority, wants to build the "Western Spirit" transmission line through their lands.
The farmers claim the power lines aren’t just ugly to look at, they said the high voltage could emit radiation and result in issues with their cow’s reproduction and breeding, as well as interrupt their milk production.
"They’re just really trying to force themselves through here, they don’t understand our lands have been in our families for over 200 years," said Bosque resident Martin Baca. "We just don’t want to see them here, it’s beautiful land, and we just don’t need those power lines here."
KRQE News 13 spoke with Pattern Development over the phone, which said those claims are inaccurate and that the line would bring $1.5 billion of new investments to the state and hundreds of construction jobs. The Western Spirit transmission line would run near Clines Corners, swooping down through Valencia County and back to Albuquerque. After the lines are built, it will be taken over by PNM.
The locals fighting it said they’re not opposed to renewable energy, but added they have more than 100 signatures they sent to Pattern Development opposing it.
This transmission line has been a work in progress for about a decade. The company said it could use eminent domain, which is a right to take private property for a public purpose, but said it doesn’t want to do that and is trying to find ways to get as many people on board as possible.