Michael Skelly, the company's president, told Arkansas Business that the direct-current project, which would have transmitted 4,000 megawatts of renewable energy from Western Oklahoma to eastern Tennessee, is basically on life support.Arkansans in Congress want the Energy Department to terminate the project. It entered the process when the Clean Line effort couldn't get state PSC approval. The demand by members of Congress for state control of a clean electric power line crossing the state contrasts with unanimous support from Arkansas Republicans to force a line carrying dirty Canadian tar sands across the Great Plains — over some state objections — so it could be refined into products for shipment to China.
"Everybody knows that if you can delay a project, you can hurt it or force a different outcome," Skelly said after devoting nearly nine years and some $100 million in private investor money to the project, which would have crossed 12 Arkansas counties with 200-foot-high transmission towers. "We're ending up with an outcome that's just fine for us business-wise, but not as good for Arkansas."