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Cotton Expresses Concern over Department of Energy/Clean Line Relationship

October 28, 2015

Contact: Caroline Rabbitt (202) 224-2353

Washington, D.C.-Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) today sent a letter to the Department of Energy expressing his concern over Clean Line's application to the Department of Energy (DOE) for eminent domain authority over Arkansas and the potential for conflicts of interest to arise. Clean Line's initial request to the Arkansas Public Utilities Commission for such authority was denied.

Its recently come to light that Clean Line is paying the salaries of DOE employees working on the company's application, but it is unclear whether there has been adequate conflicts of interest training.

"Clean Line representatives stated that they receive monthly invoices from DOE listing the names, roles, and hours of DOE personnel working on their application. Representatives from Clean Line estimated they are paying between $10,000 and $1,000,000 a month to DOE for costs associated with Clean Line's application," Senator Cotton writes in the letter. He goes on to request the DOE provide answers to 12 questions on this arrangement.

"I am deeply concerned by the arrangement between the DOE and Clean Line. Arkansans deserve a fair and transparent process as the Federal Government decides whether to give away their land," said Senator Cotton. "DOE needs to immediately clarify how they are handling potential conflicts of interest. And every cash transfer and communication between Clean Line and DOE should be made public. Rest assured, I will continue to monitor this situation carefully and protect Arkansas's interests."

The full text of the letter can be found here.