GOP lawmakers blast Obama for 'unprecedented' overreach
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A group of Arkansas Republican lawmakers on Friday accused President Obama of ‘executive overreach’ over his administration’s plan to partner with a private company to develop a 705-mile wind power transmission line.
 
Sens. Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonNYT says Tom Cotton editorial 'did not meet our standards' Engel says he refuses to seek NYT endorsement over Cotton op-ed Cotton praises NY Times for 'standing up to the woke progressive mob' in publishing opinion piece MORE and John BoozmanJohn Nichols Boozman7 GOP senators slam State Dept for 'slow and inefficient policy' on passports The Hill's Coronavirus Report: National Portrait Gallery's Kim Sajet says this era rewiring people's relationship with culture, art; Trump's war with Twitter heats up Congress headed toward unemployment showdown MORE and Reps. Rick CrawfordRichard (Rick) CrawfordArkansas program that places unemployed guards, reservists in agriculture jobs can be a model for nation Trump campaign launches new fundraising program with House Republicans Trump immigration vow stirs serious blowback MORE, French Hill, Steve WomackStephen (Steve) Allen WomackEx-CBO director calls for more than trillion in coronavirus stimulus spending Overnight Defense: Lawmakers tear into Pentagon over .8B for border wall | Dems offer bill to reverse Trump on wall funding | Senators urge UN to restore Iran sanctions Lawmakers trade insults over Trump budget cuts MORE and Bruce Westerman blasted the plan in a joint statement, accusing the Department of Energy (DOE) of abusing its authority.
 
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"Today marks a new page in an era of unprecedented executive overreach as the Department of Energy seeks to usurp the will of Arkansans and form a partnership with a private company — the same private company previously denied rights to operate in our state by the Arkansas Public Service Commission,” the lawmakers said.
 
“Despite years of pushback on the local level and continuous communications between our delegation and Secretary Moniz, DOE has decided to forgo the will of the Natural State and take over the historic ability of state-level transmission control through this announcement.”
 
The DOE on Friday announced that it had signed off on the Clean Line Partners’ project, saying it met all the standards necessary for a federal partnership under a 2005 law.
 
The Arkansans’ statement called that judgment into question on Friday. The lawmakers pledged to raise their concerns “through any avenue necessary.” 
 
“Section 1222 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 establishes specific conditions that must be met before this authority is used, and we expect the Department to release all details of their review so that our staff and Congressional investigators will be able to continue the process of oversight,” the statement read.
 
"It is our firm belief that the DOE has overstepped its bounds, and reversing this decision through the passage of the APPROVAL Act remains a top priority."