Message from Russell Pisciotta, President Block Grain Belt Express
Clean Line Energy, the transmission line developer behind the massive, interstate Grain Belt Express (GBE) transmission line proposal, is portraying Missouri and its rural landowners as selfishly stopping the only opportunity for clean, renewable energy in yet another effort to obtain regulatory approval.
We at Block Grain Belt Express fully understand the need for clean, renewable energy sources. While we all want what is best for the planet, this does not mean we must blindly accept this company’s word that its lines are badly needed and that they will provide the only good supply of clean, renewable energy.
We would like to point out that GBE is the brainchild of some wealthy investors that want to get into the energy business. That would be fine, however it is asking for the power of eminent domain in order to condemn up to 5500 acres of private land in Missouri alone to build the structure.
The line was never determined to be necessary by any of the Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs) that it would cross, under the normal planning process. In fact, the company conveniently chose to skip the process because it did not feel it should have to participate.
In June, the Missouri Public Service Commission determined that the line was not necessary or beneficial to ratepayers. That is further evident by the fact that no utility companies or wholesalers in or out of state have publicly supported the project nor entered any agreements with the company.
It is also important to recognize that GBE is not the only alternative for getting wind energy to the northeast states. According to the Dept. of Energy, some of this country’s best wind resources lay just off-shore of the northeast states adjacent to the very population centers that the proposed line would supply. And, new technology now makes off-shore wind turbines far more efficient and economically feasible. However, to this day, not one wind farm has been constructed off the Atlantic shore.
The power of eminent domain should only be used when absolutely necessary by public utility companies that supply the region, not private business ventures or cross country transmission lines like Grain Belt Express. Instead, it should be forced to negotiate easements on the open market like any other business, thus ensuring that only willing landowners would be impacted and that true fair market prices are paid for the easements.
The 780 mile Grain Belt line is unnecessary and would cause tremendous loss of our quality of life and property values, lowered farm productivity, health risks and other safety concerns while one of the nation’s best sources for wind energy that is closest to the intended end-users goes un-developed. We, at Block Grain Belt Express, will continue to protect our property and property rights until this senseless proposal is defeated. Your support would be greatly appreciated.
President Block Grain Belt Express
Caldwell County Mo.