2007 Scorecard Vote
Traditionally, state agencies and regulators have had jurisdiction over the siting and construction of new electric transmission lines. However, the Energy Policy Act of 2005 allows the Energy Department to declare certain lands "national interest electric transmission corridors" (NIETC). In these corridors, utilities can arbitrarily overturn state protections and condemn property for transmission lines without looking for alternative sites that pose less harm to local citizens.
Because federal natural resources within these corridors are not protected, the new transmission lines could jeopardize national parks, wilderness areas, and Wild and Scenic Rivers. State parks, Civil War battlefields, and other historic sites could also be trampled.
The Energy Department has now proposed creating two huge energy transmission corridors across 11 states and more than 210 counties inhabited by nearly 75 million Americans. During consideration of H.R. 2641, the Energy and Water appropriations bill, Representative Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) offered an amendment to delay the corridors' final designations by one year to allow further consultation with affected local officials and citizens. On June 20, 2007, the House defeated the amendment by a 174-257 vote (House roll call vote 526). YES IS THE PRO-ENVIRONMENT VOTE.