Groups representing landowners file suit against Department of Energy

Groups representing landowners file suit against Department of Energy

(KAIT) - Two groups representing landowners have filed a lawsuit against the Department of Energy and the Southwestern Power Administration.

According to a press release from Gill Law; Golden Bridge, LLC; and Downwind, LLC, they have filed a legal complaint against the department regarding their approval of and participation in the proposed project.

"Landowners were never offered an appropriate avenue for due process during the DOE's review of Clean Line's application," Dave Ulery of Golden Bridge said. "An opportunity to comment is not the same as an opportunity to directly participate in the matter in an official capacity. Review is meaningless if those most affected are not given ample and significant opportunity to engage on a meaningful and substantive level."

The complaint raises concerns about the legality of the Department of Energy's decision to participate in the project using Section 1222 of the 2005 Energy Policy Act.

"While understanding the importance of infrastructure in the production, transmission, and distribution of electrical energy," said a Downwind spokesperson. "The landowner-managed organization is concerned with the federal government's legal authority, and the scope and manner of its proposed participation in transmission projects pursuant to Section 1222. There are lingering doubts about the substance and merits of the Department's determination in this project, with particular concern relating to the potential use of federal eminent domain to condemn private property for the benefit of a private, for-profit company."

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