A group of Arkansas Republican lawmakers on Friday accused President Obama of ‘executive overreach’ over his administration’s plan to partner with a private company to develop a 705-mile wind power transmission line.
Sens. Tom Cotton and John Boozman and Reps. Rick Crawford, French Hill, Steve Womack and Bruce Westerman blasted the plan in a joint statement, accusing the Department of Energy (DOE) of abusing its authority.
"Today marks a new page in an era of unprecedented executive overreach as the Department of Energy seeks to usurp the will of Arkansans and form a partnership with a private company — the same private company previously denied rights to operate in our state by the Arkansas Public Service Commission,” the lawmakers said.
“Despite years of pushback on the local level and continuous communications between our delegation and Secretary Moniz, DOE has decided to forgo the will of the Natural State and take over the historic ability of state-level transmission control through this announcement.”
The DOE on Friday announced that it had signed off on the Clean Line Partners’ project, saying it met all the standards necessary for a federal partnership under a 2005 law.
The Arkansans’ statement called that judgment into question on Friday. The lawmakers pledged to raise their concerns “through any avenue necessary.”
“Section 1222 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 establishes specific conditions that must be met before this authority is used, and we expect the Department to release all details of their review so that our staff and Congressional investigators will be able to continue the process of oversight,” the statement read.
"It is our firm belief that the DOE has overstepped its bounds, and reversing this decision through the passage of the APPROVAL Act remains a top priority."