Missouri Public Service makes final decision on Grain Belt project
At a meeting today, the Missouri Public Service Commission issued an order finding that Grain Belt Express has failed to meet, by a preponderance of the evidence, its burden of proof to demonstrate that the project is necessary or convenient for the public service. The Commission therefore denied Grain Belt’s application to construct a high voltage direct current electric transmission line across the state of Missouri to serve eastern electric markets.
Block Grain Belt Express-MO is pleased that their pleas to the Missouri PSC were heard by the Commissioners, who found that any actual benefits to the general public from the Project would be outweighed by the burdens on affected landowners.
Blake Hurst from Missouri Farm Bureau stated, “Farm Bureau is extremely pleased with the action the Public Service Commission took today denying Clean Line Energy’s request to build a transmission line across northern Missouri. Property owners and members of our organization in the area affected by the line – the line going through their farms – talked about the difficulty of farming around the lines and talked about the importance of private property rights. They strongly oppose the granting of eminent domain for a private project. The Public Service Commission heard their concerns, understands the importance of private property rights, and protected Missouri landowners with their decision today.”
“Now we can get back to the important business of feeding America,” said impacted farm operator Loren Sprouse.
Block GBE has maintained that the project is not economically feasible and that the impacts to affected landowners were not given adequate consideration by the project’s backer, Clean Line Energy Partners.
“This is democracy in action,” said Jennifer Gatrel, Block GBE-MO Vice President, who has spent the past several years speaking out against the project and keeping others informed. “You can stand up to corporate interests and protect your property rights,” she added.
But the work of Block GBE-MO is not over yet. Clean Line may still revive its application to the U.S. Department of Energy in an attempt to have federal power marketer Southwestern Power Administration “participate” in its project in order to wield its power of federal eminent domain and overrule Missouri authorities on the project.
“It’s going to be a long and expensive process if Grain Belt Express chooses to go the federal route,” said Russ Pisciotta, President of Block GBE. “We’re in it for the long-haul.”
The grassroots group of landowners and citizens will continue their efforts to foster sensible energy policy and projects that move our country toward a sustainable energy future.
Jennifer Gatrel, Block Grain Belt Express- http://blockgbemo.com/