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Officials call Clean Line project ‘questionable’

For the second time in a year and a half, the Tipton County Commission made it official: The legislative body does not want the Plains and Eastern Clean Line coming through Tipton County.

The commissioners unanimously passed a resolution Monday night that read, in part, “The necessity of this massive project is questionable given TVA’s release statement that it has already reached EPA’s target system-wide and expects to exceed it.”

A similar resolution was passed in July of 2013 and area towns have passed resolutions against the power line project.

Plains and Eastern Clean Line is planning a 700-mile electric transmission project that would deliver wind energy from the Oklahoma Panhandle region to utilities and customers in Tennessee, Arkansas and other markets in the Southeast.

Clean Line Energy Partners LLC, a Houston-based company, is investing $2 billion in the project.

County Executive Jeff Huffman, who drafted the resolution, said Arkansas has rejected the project, but the company is trying to get utility status through the federal government.

If that happens, Huffman said, Clean Line could, through eminent domain, take land even if land owners do not want to sell.

Huffman said the project is “fueled by groups of billionaire investors who are trying to condemn property for a money-making venture.”

The company has proposed installing 200-foot lattice-type towers through South Tipton County.

“It’s rolling down hill,” Huffman said. “I don’t think it’s fair to the people of Tipton County … I don’t think it (the resolution) will stop them. If somebody decides to try and stop it, this is something they can use.”