I have now written you in August 2013 and September 2014 regarding the Department of
Energy's (DOE's) consideration for a partnership with Clean Line Energy Partners through the Plains & Eastern transmission line project and have yet to receive a satisfactory answer to my questions.
Since the date of my previous inquiry, I understand that the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) has been released for public comment, at which point, in accordance with your latest response to my office, "DOE will consider questions such as those raised in [my] letter." Unfortunately, merely acknowledging this fact does not, in turn, answer the questions raised.
As you know, the path of the proposed transmission line runs directly through the Third District of Arkansas. Therefore, I am extremely concerned about Clean Line's authorization. Respectfully, I am also very frustrated by one of your Department's disingenuous responses to my letters that identified "public interest" as one of the considerations given to the Clean Line
application. There has been an astounding lack of assurance that my district - and the State of Arkansas- will have any interest in this project at all and no guarantee that Clean Line will supply power to my constituents and my state. I place further emphasis on this concern given the denial of a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity from the initial application Clean Line had submitted to the Arkansas Public Service Commission.
Section 1222 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 has never been invoked for the approval of an
electric power transmission facility. In light of the uncertainty of this process and the Section
1222 application, in addition to a lack of assurance regarding the benefit for the state of Arkansas from such a transmission line, I must again ask the following:
• What guarantee might the citizens of the Third District be afforded when it comes to a
specific energy supply to our state rather than a highway for power to Tennessee?
• How does the Department of Energy determine its authority for partnership with a private entity and the application of supposed rights to eminent domain?
• What factor does the denial of Clean Line as a public utility in the State of Arkansas play
in the final decision by the Department of Energy?
The DOE has been less than forthright in providing answers to the legitimate questions raised regarding Clean Line. Therefore, at this time, I would like to request a formal meeting with you to not only discuss these questions, but also the unacceptable responses that have been sent to both my office and stakeholders within the Third District. I look forward to your prompt reply.
Something fishy is going on here... maybe it's time to start an official investigation into the way DOE has been handling the Clean Line matter. I'd start by asking them why the "Management Committee" as described in section 8a of Contract No. 1 between Clean Line Energy and the DOE, the Advance Funding and Development
Agreement Plains and Eastern Clean Line Transmission Project, has not been meeting quarterly as stipulated in the agreement.