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Opposition to Clean Line Transmission Line project

In writing this letter the main objective is to inform people about the proposed HVDC ( High Voltage Direct Current) transmission line that a private company, Clean Line Energy Partners, LLC is attempting to install throughout Arkansas to Tennessee.

Wind energy generated in the panhandle of Oklahoma by wind turbines (which haven’t been built yet) is to be transported by these lines to Tennessee. Clean Line doesn’t have one customer yet, no contracts with anyone to buy power, no eminent domain, but they are working hard to try to gain that status through the Department of Energy.

The Arkansas Public Service Commission denied their application for certificate of public convenience and necessity to operate as a public utility, so they decided to go the federal route instead. Do we really want to set that kind of precedent? These 150-foot tall transmission lines, requiring a 200-foot wide swath of land from Oklahoma to Tennessee, taking in approximately 8,000 acres of farmland and forest and, the Mississippi flyway, scenic by-ways, etc., will hurt Arkansas.

Our land will be devalued because of these huge towering power lines, lowering county revenue, causing sleep disturbance and possible health issues, (like cancer and leukemia – just talk to farmers who have experienced loss of livestock after four or five years living under and near power lines.)

Loss of tourism dollars is huge, Arkansas is the “duck capital” of the world, those counties take in about one million dollars per day during duck season.

The worst part is that Arkansas is not even going to receive any power from them.

We do not need this and neither does Tennessee. Clean Line has not proven an urgent public need for this project and there are currently no requests from utilities for construction of this line.

I am not against good, clean, renewable energy solutions, but this is not about energy in my view. Clean Line is a private, non-utility, “for-profit” company.

They are being backed by out of state investors from Texas and New York. What their objective seems to be, is to make money at the expense of landowners. Arkansas landowners were never consulted during the route selection. The DoE and Clean Line consulted various agencies before ever consulting landowners.

By the time the landowners were given opportunity to speak, the route was selected and the National Environmental Policy Act process begun. (NEPA is mainly concerned with producing an Environmental Impact Statement which helps the DoE decide eminent domain.)

Most landowners never knew about the commenting period to the DoE in 2013, where we could have voiced our concerns about this project, therefore, not many of us were represented. I, as a landowner never knew about the project until March 2014!

Jackie Leavell