Missouri Legislature Allows Grain Belt Express to Power Ahead, Restricts Future Projects

(MISSOURINET) –  A many-year battle over the ability of an energy company to take power over private property rights ended Tuesday.

The state legislature passed a compromise over the expansion of the Grain Belt wind energy lines.

The high-powered transmission lines will cross northern Missouri – delivering power from Kansas to Illinois.

Farmers and landowners had been clashing with towns over power line placement.

The compromise now allows the Invenergy Transmission company to move forward BUT any such project in the future will have to pay landowners 150 percent of the value of the land plus other restrictions.

Some Democrats opposed the bill because it does not address the power of eminent domain used in cities or against poor communities.

As Tracy McCreery of St. Louis County argued –

Cass County’s Mike Haffner sponsored the bill and answered McCreery’s concerns

McCreery says other clean energy power must clear too many legal hurdles to build in Missouri.

Democrat Rasheen Aldridge wanted assurance that Haffner would work to protect his St. Louis City communities.

The bill passed 111-32 in the House.