Letter to the Editor from Block GBE President Russ Pisciotta
With the recent conditional approval of the Grain Belt Express transmission line by the Illinois Commerce Commission, the company now claims it will turn its attention to Missouri once again for possibly another application with Mo. Public Service Commission. Therefore, I thought that opponents of the line might welcome some very encouraging news. Last year the Missouri Landowners Alliance (MLA) filed suit in the Circuit Court of Caldwell County, asking the Court to find that the franchise supposedly granted by the Caldwell County Commission to Grain Belt was void and/or unenforceable. According to Missouri state law, Grain Belt needs a franchise from the County Commission in each county where it proposes to build the line.
On October 7, 2015, the Circuit Court issued an order finding in favor of the MLA. The time for Grain Belt Express to appeal that order has now passed. So as a practical matter, Grain Belt would have no authority to build the line across Caldwell County even if it could somehow convince the Public Service Commission to reverse its decision from last year, in which it rejected Grain Belt’s application for a Certificate of Convenience and Necessity to build the line.
Grain Belt’s only apparent hope for building the line through Caldwell County would be to convince the County Commission to reissue a new franchise for the proposed line. However, the County Commission strongly supported the MLA in the Caldwell County Circuit Court case, and so we are quite hopeful that the County Commission would reject any such attempts from Grain Belt. Furthermore, I believe it is problematic whether Grain Belt could build its line through Missouri without crossing through Caldwell County.
The opponents of the Grain Belt line are committed to continuing this fight until it is fully resolved.
Block Grain Belt Express Missouri