Well, laugh some more, little Schadenfreuders,* because not only does Trump's plan not include a project list, it actively neuters Section 1222 of the Energy Policy Act. For years, Clean Line has used Section 1222 as its trump card (heh, the jokes just won't stop here) to threaten states with losing jurisdiction over its projects if they fail to approve them. Clean Line even went to far as to go all the way with the DOE on its Plains & Eastern project, spending millions of dollars to secure the "participation" of one of DOE's federal power marketers in that project, with the idea that would allow federal eminent domain authority where Arkansas failed to grant it.
Whoops. Whoops. Whoopsie!
Trump's budget includes a plan to sell the transmission assets of three of DOE's federal power marketers, the Bonneville Power Administration, the Western Area Power Administration, and, yes, the Southwestern Power Administration (SWPA).
Except Trump wants to sell off all SWPA's transmission assets to private industry. Setting aside the fact that Clean Line doesn't have the assets to buy its own project back from the government, once they are no longer owned by SWPA, there is no federal condemnation authority!
Section 1222 authorizes:
The Secretary, acting through WAPA or SWPA, or both, may design, develop, construct, operate, maintain, or own, or participate with other entities in designing, developing, constructing, operating, maintaining, or owning, a new electric power transmission facility and related facilities (“Project”) located within any State in which WAPA or SWPA operates...
Is that what you thought being on some fake infrastructure list was going to buy you, Michael Skelly? Seems to me that Trump's infrastructure plan only further complicates Plains & Eastern. Who would want to sign a contract to purchase capacity on a non-existent transmission project that is in danger of being sold to the highest bidder? Trump's plan to sell PMA transmission assets makes Plains & Eastern more risky and uncertain than ever!
But, the idea to sell PMA transmission is unlikely to happen. However, it could, hypothetically speaking. The uncertainty is likely to stall PMA transmission plans for the foreseeable future. It's not like the idea to divest PMA assets is new. It's been floated several times in the past and been defeated. Already, legislators and users of PMA transmission are up in arms about the proposal, and for good reason. It's a really stupid idea.
But it's Trump's really great idea. And it's going to cripple any PMA transmission projects for now.
I hope Clean Line didn't actually think getting on a list was going to solve its problems, or else someone is going to be crying himself to sleep tonight. Boo. Flipping. Hoo.
Ding-Dong! Karma calling!