The Clean Line Energy Partners' proposal to construct a direct current transmission line through Arkansas using eminent domain has come to an end.
The Houston-based company desired to run a high-voltage transmission line from windmill farms in Oklahoma and Kansas through Arkansas to the Memphis area. Residents in Crawford and Franklin counties fought the proposal for several years.
U.S. Sens. John Boozman joined fellow U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, U.S. Reps. Rick Crawford, French Hill, Steve Womack and Bruce Westerman in a joint statement Friday calling the halt a “victory for states’ rights.”
The statement regards the termination of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) partnership with Clean Line Energy Partners for development of the Plains and Eastern Clean Line Project.
“This is a victory for states’ rights and a victory for Arkansas,” the joint statement says. “We are pleased that the Department of Energy responded favorably to our request to terminate this agreement. We support policies that put our nation on the path to energy independence, but they should not cost Arkansas landowners a voice in the approval process.”
Earlier this year, Arkansas members of Congress sent a letter to DOE Secretary Rick Perry urging him to pause or terminate the project. This followed additional efforts pressing the secretary to preserve states’ rights.
The Arkansas Congressional Delegation introduced the Assuring Private Property Rights Over Vast Access to Lands (APPROVAL) Act, for the past two Congresses.
“This legislation would restore states’ rights,” the joint statement adds. “It would require DOE to obtain the approval of both the governor and the state’s public service commission before exercising the federal power of eminent domain to acquire property for Section 1222 transmission projects.”