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Opinion: The continuous fight against Grain Belt Express undermines energy security, ignores inflation

Missouri families and businesses can’t afford state legislators playing politics with matters of energy security and inflation. It has become a tired annual ritual: legislators advancing legislation attempting to retroactively kill one of the state’s largest energy infrastructure investments in recent memory. The Grain Belt Express transmission project will improve energy security for America and energy affordability and reliability for Missourians. In the midst of a global energy security crisis and runaway energy price inflation, it is time for the political games to stop before they hurt Missouri families and businesses.

Most experts believe that the missing piece to producing more of our own American energy is a woeful lack of renewable energy transmission. Producing the energy is only one part of the equation. Transmitting that energy across our grid is where we’ve consistently fallen short. Grain Belt Express will unlock the energy equivalent of 15 million barrels of oil per year by harnessing and delivering domestically produced clean energy. Projects like this are key to America’s energy independence and national security in an uncertain world.

By connecting three of the largest multi-state power markets that serve over half of the states in the U.S., including Missouri, Grain Belt Express will be a backbone of electric reliability that industrial companies across Missouri will rely on to keep the lights on during grid emergencies caused by severe weather or even national security threats.

But new sources of energy must also be affordable, especially now during times of high inflation. More than ever, Missourians are demanding an end to energy price inflation, which has corrosive impacts on family incomes and businesses’ bottom lines.

If passed, this latest anti-Grain Belt Express legislation would prevent consumers in at least 39 communities across the state from accessing $12.8 million in annual energy cost savings. Making matters worse, our economy would lose out on 1,500 construction jobs supported annually for three years and eight Missouri counties would lose millions in additional tax revenue every single year.

Missourians have a long history of innovation and self-reliance, which are at the core of what this energy infrastructure project would bring to the Show-Me-State. In today’s environment of domestic and foreign unrest, it’s simply imperative that we see the Grain Belt Express project through, both for national security purposes and as a hedge against energy inflation. We are stronger and more prosperous by taking our energy future into our own hands.