Landowners push for bill that would effectively kill Grain Belt Express

5 days 6 hours 49 minutes ago Tuesday, April 16 2019 Apr 16, 2019 Tuesday, April 16, 2019 2:32:00 AM CDT April 16, 2019 in Top Stories
By: Edan Goldfarb and Tana Kelley, KOMU 8 Reporters
loading

JEFFERSON CITY - Tuesday members of landowner alliances and other agricultural organizations throughout the state will rally together in support of House Bill 1062, sponsored by Rep. Jim Hansen, R-Ralls County.

This bill, if passed, would, "prevent merchant transmission lines like the Grain Belt Express from using eminent domain," says Marilyn O'Bannon, a member of the Eastern Missouri Landowners Alliance, and supporter of Hansen's bill.

The bill is meant to be in opposition to the Missouri Public Service Commission's unanimous approval for the Grain Belt Express, a wind-powered transmission line meant to send energy through the state of Missouri and on to the East Coast. 

But with the commission's approval, the private company who owns the transmission line will be allowed to use eminent domain to obtain the property it needs to build them.

"It's a misuse of eminent domain, especially when a transmission company does not even fit the definition under Missouri law as a utility," says O'Bannon.

Eminent domain is the government's right to take private property for public use, more specifically for this case, take private property and allow a private company to use it for a public service, providing energy. 

Clean Line Energy Partners is the company conducting the project. The company is asking for a 150 to 200 foot easement. Their website states the landowner can still farm in that land. However, opponents said that some crops like corn would violate height restrictions.

Hundreds of concerned farmers were at the rally. One family in Ralls County spoke about the impact this line would have on his property. 

“We’ve worked hard all our lives. Nobody in our family has really owned any ground and we don’t own much.  Just a 31 acre spot. Then several years later we find out that this comes about as a possibility,” Tom Mcafee said.

Tom and his wife Dana have owned that land for 11 years.

“This is where we plan to retire,” Mcafee said. 

He said if this bill doesn’t pass, the electric line would destroy that dream.

“If they happen to establish it the way they had in their maps, if they came over the top of our home, we’d have to rebuild our home,” Mcafee said. “We’d have to move our home to a different place or we will just have leave and build somewhere else.”

Representatives had the same belief. Many spoke on how damaging the line would be and how private property rights need to be taken care of.

Other Representatives who opposed the bill said it was too specific and targeted at one company.

Representative Deb Lavendar said it would be good to bring renewable energy to our state and that there would be fair compensation.

“We’re not taking a tremendous amount of productive land for this so there’s some extremely good reasons to do this,” Lavendar said.

Mcafee and his wife Dana agree that they just want this to be over. “We’d like to see this over with," he said.

“It needs to be finished,” Dana continued.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - The City of Columbia hosted a litter pickup at Flat Branch Park on Sunday from 2 p.m. to... More >>
53 minutes ago Sunday, April 21 2019 Apr 21, 2019 Sunday, April 21, 2019 8:28:00 AM CDT April 21, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A comic convention brought comic fans and beer enthusiasts together for an afternoon of fun Saturday. STL... More >>
10 hours ago Saturday, April 20 2019 Apr 20, 2019 Saturday, April 20, 2019 10:54:00 PM CDT April 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Jay Dix's Challenge to Cure 5K and 10K on Saturday raised around $8,000 for the Ellis Fischel... More >>
10 hours ago Saturday, April 20 2019 Apr 20, 2019 Saturday, April 20, 2019 10:32:00 PM CDT April 20, 2019 in News
ELDON - A memorial service was held Saturday evening to honor the life of a Miller County Sheriff's deputy who... More >>
11 hours ago Saturday, April 20 2019 Apr 20, 2019 Saturday, April 20, 2019 10:15:00 PM CDT April 20, 2019 in News
MOBERLY - Police said a man tried to shoot at his girlfriend Saturday afternoon as she attempted to enter the... More >>
11 hours ago Saturday, April 20 2019 Apr 20, 2019 Saturday, April 20, 2019 9:34:00 PM CDT April 20, 2019 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — New census data shows that while Missouri's population rose slightly last year compared to 2017, more... More >>
12 hours ago Saturday, April 20 2019 Apr 20, 2019 Saturday, April 20, 2019 9:12:00 PM CDT April 20, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Children from the Jefferson City and Columbia area showed off their businesses during the Jefferson City Children's... More >>
16 hours ago Saturday, April 20 2019 Apr 20, 2019 Saturday, April 20, 2019 5:17:00 PM CDT April 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Parks and Recreation department held its annual "EGGstravaganza Egg Hunt" at Douglass Parks and Indian Hills... More >>
18 hours ago Saturday, April 20 2019 Apr 20, 2019 Saturday, April 20, 2019 3:02:00 PM CDT April 20, 2019 in News
MOBERLY- The Moberly Police Department arrested a man on Friday afternoon after they received information from the FBI in Omaha,... More >>
23 hours ago Saturday, April 20 2019 Apr 20, 2019 Saturday, April 20, 2019 10:08:00 AM CDT April 20, 2019 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - A Fulton man will be in jail for the next 25 years after he pleaded guilty Friday... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, April 20 2019 Apr 20, 2019 Saturday, April 20, 2019 8:47:00 AM CDT April 20, 2019 in News
GASCONADE COUNTY - The sex of human remains found in the Gasconade River have been identified as male, according to... More >>
1 day ago Friday, April 19 2019 Apr 19, 2019 Friday, April 19, 2019 8:09:00 PM CDT April 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Sophomore forward Jontay Porter officially declared for the 2019 NBA Draft via Twitter Friday. pic.twitter.com/AHj67OWmqi... More >>
1 day ago Friday, April 19 2019 Apr 19, 2019 Friday, April 19, 2019 6:35:00 PM CDT April 19, 2019 in Sports
ROCHEPORT - Missouri State Parks said a tunnel on the Katy Trail will be closed for at least another month,... More >>
1 day ago Friday, April 19 2019 Apr 19, 2019 Friday, April 19, 2019 6:32:00 PM CDT April 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — High winds caused two power outages Friday evening that affected more than 1,500 customers, Columbia Water & Light... More >>
1 day ago Friday, April 19 2019 Apr 19, 2019 Friday, April 19, 2019 6:23:00 PM CDT April 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — The Missouri Secretary of State’s office awarded a “Spotlight on Literacy” grant to Daniel Boone Regional Library for... More >>
1 day ago Friday, April 19 2019 Apr 19, 2019 Friday, April 19, 2019 5:46:00 PM CDT April 19, 2019 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A well-known radio personality in St. Louis is facing sex-related charges. ... More >>
1 day ago Friday, April 19 2019 Apr 19, 2019 Friday, April 19, 2019 4:52:00 PM CDT April 19, 2019 in News
FULTON — A building on the Missouri School for the Deaf's campus may become the new location of a county... More >>
1 day ago Friday, April 19 2019 Apr 19, 2019 Friday, April 19, 2019 3:44:00 PM CDT April 19, 2019 in News
BOONE COUNTY - Boone County Office of Emergency Management apologized Friday after accidentally sending out numerous severe weather alerts from... More >>
1 day ago Friday, April 19 2019 Apr 19, 2019 Friday, April 19, 2019 3:03:00 PM CDT April 19, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 62°
10am 66°
11am 73°
12pm 76°
1pm 77°