Landowners push for bill that would effectively kill Grain Belt Express

2 months 4 days 1 hour 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 – A major river crossing in Howard County opened Tuesday as flood waters receded. The Missouri Department of... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, June 18 2019 Jun 18, 2019 Tuesday, June 18, 2019 4:38:00 PM CDT June 18, 2019 in News
LAURIE - A 93-year-old woman told police she blacked out before driving through the front door and into the pool... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, June 18 2019 Jun 18, 2019 Tuesday, June 18, 2019 4:27:00 PM CDT June 18, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The organizer of a water gun fight says he wanted to address a serious issue in a fun... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, June 18 2019 Jun 18, 2019 Tuesday, June 18, 2019 3:58:00 PM CDT June 18, 2019 in News
HIGBEE - The Higbee Senior Center will close its doors in 10 days. The board of directors said it can... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, June 18 2019 Jun 18, 2019 Tuesday, June 18, 2019 3:35:00 PM CDT June 18, 2019 in News
HARTSBURG - Some people in Hartsburg say their yards are steeped in sewage after crews worked on a flood-clogged line.... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, June 18 2019 Jun 18, 2019 Tuesday, June 18, 2019 3:20:00 PM CDT June 18, 2019 in News
KANSAS CITY - Doctors say a 15-year-old boy from Kansas City who fell onto a 10-inch knife is extremely lucky.... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, June 18 2019 Jun 18, 2019 Tuesday, June 18, 2019 3:04:00 PM CDT June 18, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Researchers from Lincoln University and the University of Missouri have been working collaboratively on a new type... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, June 18 2019 Jun 18, 2019 Tuesday, June 18, 2019 3:03:00 PM CDT June 18, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A man who pleaded guilty in April to trespassing at two Columbia schools ended up in jail again... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, June 18 2019 Jun 18, 2019 Tuesday, June 18, 2019 2:29:00 PM CDT June 18, 2019 in News
MILLER COUNTY - An appeals court has overturned the involuntary manslaughter conviction of a woman accused of "recklessly" causing the... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, June 18 2019 Jun 18, 2019 Tuesday, June 18, 2019 2:01:00 PM CDT June 18, 2019 in News
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — A 24-year-old Springfield man who killed his friend and dumped the body on the side of... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, June 18 2019 Jun 18, 2019 Tuesday, June 18, 2019 12:23:57 PM CDT June 18, 2019 in Continuous News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A St. Louis judge says Missouri’s Republican-led Legislature cannot cut off funding to abortion providers and... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, June 18 2019 Jun 18, 2019 Tuesday, June 18, 2019 9:52:00 AM CDT June 18, 2019 in News
ST. LOUIS - Planned Parenthood in St. Louis is required to submit a "Plan of Correction" to the Missouri Department... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, June 18 2019 Jun 18, 2019 Tuesday, June 18, 2019 2:54:00 AM CDT June 18, 2019 in News
CALIFORNIA - Moniteau County is considering regulations for concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO) that are more restrictive than state law.... More >>
2 days ago Monday, June 17 2019 Jun 17, 2019 Monday, June 17, 2019 7:49:00 PM CDT June 17, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA – Central Missouri Honor Flight 58 left Tuesday morning. This Honor Flight features 110 veterans from the Korean and... More >>
2 days ago Monday, June 17 2019 Jun 17, 2019 Monday, June 17, 2019 5:55:00 PM CDT June 17, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Exclusive surveillance video shows a 2-year-old child dragged and then hit by a mini-van Monday morning. ... More >>
2 days ago Monday, June 17 2019 Jun 17, 2019 Monday, June 17, 2019 4:40:00 PM CDT June 17, 2019 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A former FBI agent who was involved in the criminal investigation of former Missouri Gov. Eric... More >>
2 days ago Monday, June 17 2019 Jun 17, 2019 Monday, June 17, 2019 4:01:00 PM CDT June 17, 2019 in News
BOONVILLE - Flooding along the Missouri River is still affecting the Katy Trail near Boonville. The annual five-day Katy Trail... More >>
2 days ago Monday, June 17 2019 Jun 17, 2019 Monday, June 17, 2019 2:24:00 PM CDT June 17, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The legacy of former Columbia Mayor Darwin Hindman is living on through his community, his co-workers and the... More >>
2 days ago Monday, June 17 2019 Jun 17, 2019 Monday, June 17, 2019 1:48:00 PM CDT June 17, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 67°
2am 66°
3am 65°
4am 65°
5am 64°