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Letter to the Editor: In support of Clean Line

As a county commissioner and a landowner, I’m closely watching the decision of the Missouri Public Service Commission on the Grain Belt Express. I know I am not alone in hoping the project gets approved.

In my research of this project, I called commissioners in California that have had a similar line for decades and found that there have only been positive impacts on locals. I also went to Minnesota recently to stand underneath a similar DC line in that state that has been serving electric cooperative members for 40 years providing safe, affordable and reliable electricity.

As an elected official, I support the Grain Belt project because I believe it represents important progress for our state and nation’s economy. No one wakes up wanting a transmission line on their land, but as a farmer with an existing transmission line and pipeline on my land, I believe it’s important that we all do our part for our state’s economy. Creating energy from natural resources like wind and solar is a big part of our country’s future. In the near term, the Grain Belt transmission line will create about 1,000 construction jobs in the state and provide revenue for public services, like schools, in North Missouri.

I understand the concerns that some people have raised about the unsightliness of transmission lines. I get it. I still think we need to look at the bigger picture. I hope our public service commissioners will think about what the state needs in the long term.

It’s time for us to update our power grid. I hope Missouri will be on the right side of history.

-Wayne Wilcox,
Randolph County Commissioner, landowner, and farmer