Eminent Domain Reform Bill Proposed in Missouri
Legislation has been proposed in both Missouri Houses that would eliminate the power of eminent domain from being granted to any privately funded, long distance, Direct Current transmission lines.
One current example of such a proposal is Grain Belt Express, a controversial, massive, high voltage DC power line proposed by a private company, Clean Line Energy Partners of Houston, Texas.
After battling fierce opposition from landowners and Missouri Farm Bureau and an 18 month investigation by the Missouri Public Service Commission (PSC), Grain Belt Express was denied a Certificate and the right to eminent domain. The PSC found that the project, which would mostly serve the east coast, was not needed by Missouri nor would its benefits outweigh the costs. Additionally, 8 of the 14 potentially impacted counties rescinded the permission Clean Line needs in order to build in each county.
Clean Line Energy Partners has vowed to re-apply for approval of its project before the PSC. In response, Missouri legislators have filed bills that would protect private property rights by protecting landowners from threats of such private, long haul transmission lines that are designed to transport electricity to other states.
House bill HB2418 and is sponsored by Representative Tim Remole of the 6th district. Jim Hansen of the 40th district has been very active on this issue as well. A hearing on this bill is expected in the near future. Recently, Senator Jeanie Riddle of the 10th district sponsored a companion bill, SB1107.
Blake Hurst President of Missouri Farm Bureau stated, “This important legislation is needed to protect landowners from business interests that seek to have the power of eminent domain at their disposal.”
Opposition leader Marilyn O'Bannon, an opposition leader from Monroe County stated, "I really appreciate our legislators and Missouri Farm Bureau for recognizing the need to protect landowners from misuse of Eminent Domain."
Rep. Tim Remole stated, The Constitution makes clear our rights to own property. Property rights are precious, and need to be preserved. HB 2418 helps protect these rights from being infringed upon by outside sources.”
Jennifer Gatrel, Block Grain Belt Express- http://blockgbemo.com/ 660-232-1280