Grain Belt Express project moves process forward, receiving public support

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Clean Line Energy submitted additional information requested by the Missouri Public Service Commission (PSC) as a part of Clean Line’s application for a Certificate of Convenience and Necessity to construct the Grain Belt Express Clean Line (Grain Belt Express) transmission project in Missouri. The PSC is currently reviewing Clean Line’s application, which was filed in March of 2014.

Clean Line submitted the following information to the Missouri PSC:

  • Results showing customer interest in using the Grain Belt Express;
  • Data on Clean Line’s landowner outreach efforts;
  • Engineering specifications; and
  • Additional studies that demonstrate the public benefits resulting from the delivery of low-cost wind energy directly to Missouri’s electricity grid.

The Grain Belt Express Clean Line claims the line will create hundreds of jobs in Missouri, pay millions of dollars per year in property taxes to counties hosting the line, and provide Missourians with enough low-cost, clean energy to power over 200,000 Missouri homes per year.

The line has been met with both opposition and support from property owners.

 

Supporters submitted statements regarding their support, including the following:

“The interest among wind developers to deliver low-cost wind power to the Missouri market is promising. We’re very interested in the Grain Belt Express Clean Line project’s progress, because the City of Columbia needs access to energy as cleanly and inexpensively as we can get it. We hope this project moves forward so we can get energy from renewable sources at a substantially lower cost than what we are now paying.”

– Bob McDavid, Mayor, City of Columbia, MO

“Wind energy is an important part of our energy portfolio and we are excited that Missouri will play a role in providing that energy through the Grain Belt Express Clean Line. Providing an additional cleaner, cheaper and more abundant energy is a good thing for business and Missouri consumers and we are committed to this opportunity.”

– Daniel Mehan, President/CEO, Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry

“We have the opportunity right now to build infrastructure that will benefit our country for decades to come. With Clean Line’s infrastructure investment comes the opportunity to support good, American, middle-class jobs.”

– Dave Desmond, Business Manager of IBEW Local #2, St. Louis, Missouri

“From how I see it, there are regulations and restrictions that will change where Missouri gets some of its energy. The Grain Belt Express can help us to introduce cheap Kansas wind into our energy system in Missouri. I am not one to stand in the way of progress, and if it benefits landowners with additional income, our counties with much needed revenue, and our states with other options for power, then I feel this project can be a win.”

– Dennis Neidholdt, farmer and landowner along the proposed route, Chariton County, MO

“I live on my family’s century farm and I have been an active member of the Farm Bureau since returning from active duty in Vietnam in 1973. We have pipelines and a transmission line on our farm. I am a landowner on the Grain Belt project as well. I have found the folks at Clean Line to be professional and helpful in answering any questions that I have about the project and the easement.”

– Wayne Wilcox, landowner along the proposed route, Randolph County, MO

“Grain Belt Express Clean Line will deliver clean low cost energy to Missouri consumers and thus help us to meet our voter approved renewable energy requirements. It is important to remember that in 2008 Missouri voters approved the Renewable Energy Standard by a margin of 2to1. When two-thirds of the voters vote for something it becomes a clear mandate for change.”

– Donna R. Inglis, landowner along the proposed route, Randolph County, MO

“Infrastructure like rails, pipelines and transmission brings tax revenue to our area. The Grain Belt Express will bring in an estimated $600,000 in property tax revenue to our county in the first year alone. I am for new infrastructure projects that can bring revenue to our county to support our schools, our fire departments and our roads and bridges.”

– Peggy McGaugh, County Clerk, Carroll County

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Rachael Herndon Dunn

Rachael Herndon is the managing editor at The Missouri Times, but also produces This Week in Missouri Politics and publishes Missouri Times Magazine. She joined the Missouri Times in 2014, returning to writing after working as a campaign and legislative staffer. Rachael studied at the University of Missouri - Columbia. She lives in Jefferson City with her husband, Brandon, and their two children. To contact Rachael, email rachael@themissouritimes.com, or via Twitter @TheRachDunn.

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