It's good to have an ineffective U.S. senator. That would be Sen. John Boozman,
who couldn't bring all Republicans around to a plan to hamper the Clean Line electricity project to carry wind-generated electricity to Arkansas and other states.
Boozman offered an amendment to apply more scrutiny to the 700-mile Plains and Eastern transmission line, which President Obama's Energy Department supports. It crosses Arkansas to Tennessee, but would drop some of its power here for use by, among others, Entergy, which sees a new mix of power sources as a way to replace polluting coal-fired power plants.
The Senate passed the bill yesterday without Boozman's amendment, which was defeated 55-42, with only Republicans, but not all of them, on his side. The bill itself passed 85-12, with Boozman and Tom Cotton among the few nays.
"This amendment targeted one company, Clean Line Energy, and proposed to change the rules in the middle of the game, after tens of millions of private dollars have been invested," Clean Line President Michael Skelly said in a statement.
Boozman wanted the Energy Department to report to Congress first before beginning the project. He also is backing a bill, along with others in Congress from Arkansas, to prevent the project from using eminent domain. (These same congressmen are all for a pipeline proposed across the Great Plains to ship Canadian tar sands to Texas refineries.)
Land owners who fear the line crossing have vowed to fight the project in court.
Kind of related: Conner Eldridge, the Democrat opposing Boozman this fall, sent out a news release this morning. It said in part:
LITTLE ROCK – Former prosecutor and U.S. Attorney Conner Eldridge, who is running for the U.S. Senate, today agreed with Senator John Boozman’s statement on voters’ frustration made this morning during a live interview on KASU in Jonesboro.
Comments from Senator John Boozman (KASU):
“There’s just lots of people out there that are frustrated; they’ve lost confidence in their government. And, really are looking for people outside of the system.”
Statement from Conner Eldridge: