Members of the Arkansas Congressional Delegation have introduced legislation aimed to give more leverage to states faced with new interstate power-line projects. Sen. John Boozman and Rep. Steve Womack have submitted matching versions of the Assuring Private Property Rights Over Vast Access to Land, or APPROVAL, Act, which would rewrite Section 1222 of the 2005 Energy Policy Act in the House and Senate. They recently testified before a house subcommittee in support of their bills
The bill is a response to a proposal by Clean Line Energy Partners of Houston to construct a $2 billion, 700-plus-mile, 3,500 megawatt, high-voltage-direct-current power line from Great Plains wind farms to the Tennessee Valley Authority. The APPROVAL Act would require the Department of Energy to obtain approval from a governor and state public service commission prior to approval of any Section 1222 transmission project and subsequent use of federal eminent domain, as well as the approval of any tribal government for the affected lands.
“States and local communities must know their voices will be heard in the transmission siting process and that a transparent process will be followed,” Boozman said Wednesday to the House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans.