I am writing to state my opposition to the project proposed by Clean Line Energy Partners, LLC (“CLEP”), which has failed to meet criteria required for the Department of Energy (“DOE”) to participate in the Plains & Eastern transmission project (“Project”) under Section 1222 of the 2005 Energy Policy Act.
The studies cited by CLEP in its updated application fail to prove there is an “actual or projected increase in demand for electric transmission capacity” satisfied by the Project. This is reinforced by the Project’s lack of subscription in the form of Power Purchase Agreements (“PPA”) or other contractual obligations. Most significantly, the entire process for this proposed project has been discriminatory from the outset.
Specifically, for a project that would create a huge corridor that cuts the state of Arkansas in half, this project has denied participation of citizens that would be affected outside the proposed corridor, which as planned would cut across every major watershed in the state.
Just as with the negative impacts resulting from the previous largest eminent domain takeover of the state’s watersheds (the Depression-era establishment of the Lower White River National Wildlife Refuge, as well as the 1938 Federal “Flood Control Act” which resulted in dams along the Upper White River) this proposed project ignores impacts on Arkansans living outside the actual corridor route.
My family and countless others had their way of life destroyed, their homes taken, and their property destroyed or taken during the previous eminent domain takeover of the Great Depression, which resulted in degradation of the White River biome and extinction of native fish and mussel species.
When I reached out to officials at the Department of Energy to request public information sharing during the outreach process, I was denied. The official stated that the DOE “has done enough for YOU PEOPLE.” I was therefore unable to travel the hundreds of miles I would have had to travel to get to any of the public meetings concerning this ill-founded project. There were NO public information meetings within the southwestern quadrant of the state, nor were there any in the Delta.
For the Federal Government to discriminate against the citizenry of a state like Arkansas, a state with the highest rate of hunger and poverty registered nationwide, is a heinous act that echoes the injustices of a century ago. Withholding public participation concerning a project that will (like the previous eminent domain takeover) impact Arkansans outside the proposed corridor is therefore discriminatory.
It is an act emblematic of cultural and environmental genocide. This project should be abandoned before any further irreparable damage and harm is perpetrated upon the citizens of Arkansas.
I call for the DOE to refuse all support for this destructive, discriminatory and unnecessary project.
Denise White Parkinson
****emailed to: Angela.Colamaria@hq.doe.gov on July 12, 2015