Feb 1, 2010 12:34 PM by Associated Press
Hearings are starting in a dispute between the owner of a southern Colorado ranch and the utilities that want to build a power line over the land.
An administrative law judge will open hearings Monday on applications by Xcel Energy and Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association to build a 140-mile power line running from the San Luis Valley in south-central Colorado.The companies say the line would provide more reliable electricity for the valley and distribute renewable energy generated in the area.
The judge will also hear a request from ranch owner Louis Bacon to dismiss the applications because of alleged improper discussions between state regulators and the utilities. The utilities deny the allegations.
Bacon, a billionaire hedge-fund manager, has proposed a different route wouldn't cross his land.