Boone Pickens Co. Suspends Right-of-Way Project

T. Boone Pickens
T. Boone Pickens
State Senator Kel Seliger, (R) Amarillo
State Senator Kel Seliger, (R) Amarillo

A multi-billion dollar project in the panhandle is seeing some changes.

T. Boone Pickens' joint right-of-way project has been suspended.

Land owners from Roberts County all the way to Jacksboro County, near Dallas, may be getting a new letter from T. Boone Pickens company Mesa Power about acquiring their land.

Pickens was proposing to build his own right-of-way that would have included an underground pipeline and an above ground power line.

Now his companies have decided to split

"So we'll have the two entities acquire separate right-of-way and use them exclusively for it's own purposes," said Bobby Stillwell, the General Council for several Boone Pickens companies.

One local wind expert says he thinks the decision to split has made the public more receptive to pickens's projects.

He wants to build the worlds largest wind farm around Pampa, and send the power to Dallas.

He has also proposed to do the same with water pumped from the Ogalala Aquifer and send it south.

Stillwell said today they're still pursuing water buyers in the Dallas and San Antonio areas.

But as for now, he says the power transmission is moving forward and construction is expected to start next year.

With the water pipeline following after that.

However, a recent ruling by the United States Department of Justice has brought big changes to the Roberts County Fresh Water Supply District.

So Boone Pickens has now had to make changes.

"There's been tremendous support for electric transmission and a lot more opposition to mining water and transporting it out of an aquifer that cannot be recharged," said Amarillo area State Senator Kel Seliger

Stillwell says they will re-organize a new board of supervisors and acquire a new right-of-way for the water pipeline.

But Senator Seliger thinks panhandle water shouldn't be shipped out of the area.

"I think one of the legislative initiatives we've got to clarify, are the privileges of groundwater supply district. What it can do and what it can't do. Not just in terms of mining water but condemning peoples land for a fresh water supply district pipeline," he said