A bill to stop – or at least redirect–the Grain Belt Express powerline project, is headed to the Missouri House floor. A House committee moved quickly this week to pass the bill by Jim Hansen, Republican from Frankford. The issue, he says, is the privately-held company’s use of the power of eminent domain to put large transmission towers across farmland and private property.
The line would span 200 miles through Buchanan, Clinton, Caldwell, Carroll, Chariton, Randolph, Monroe, and Ralls counties, involving more than 500 landowners.
The Public Service Commission deemed the company behind Grain Belt is operating in the public interest so, in this case, a public company. Hansen disagrees.
The Grain Belt Express line promises to deliver 3,500 megawatts of renewable energy from western Kansas to southeastern Missouri and into Illinois, and Indiana where it would connect to a grid that supplies energy to heavily populated northeastern states.
Hansen’s Bill is supported by the House Speaker, major agriculture groups and local landowners.