Missouri approval for Grain Belt Express power line still uncertain

1 month 17 hours 36 minutes ago Tuesday, December 18 2018 Dec 18, 2018 Tuesday, December 18, 2018 1:34:00 PM CST December 18, 2018 in News
By: David Estrada, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Public Service Commission held the first of two formal hearings to determine whether an interstate power transmission project meets requirements of convenience and necessity. 

The hearings come after the Missouri Supreme Court sent back the Grain Belt Express Clean Line case to the commission for its approval. The hearings are a chance for the parties involved to address any changes on the evidence in the case. 

Grain Belt Express' attorney Karl Zobrist said he believed after the hearings the service commission would conclude the project "is both necessary and convenient for the public."

"We believe that this project promotes the public good," he said. "We have the commitment of a major utility, MJMEUC. We provided enhanced landowner protections. We believe we have the support from a variety of Missouri businesses."

Invenergy is seeking to buy the transmission project from Grain Belt Express. The agreements to sell and buy have been signed, but the public service commission would also have to authorize that deal. 

Missouri Landowners Alliance's lawyer Paul Agathen challenged Zobrist's claims, regarding the applicant's (Grain Belt Express) ability to carry on the project. 

"All along Grain Belt has been relying on the qualifications of Clean Line's personnel," Agathen said. 

Missouri Farm Bureau's attorney Brent Haden also challenged the project. He said there could be potential negative effects for farmers, regarding the use of eminent domain. 

"When somebody who's in the middle of harvest, in the middle of planting, in the middle of calving season has to come in and take time to come out of the field, talk to a lawyer they don't want to be talking in the first place, spend their money to get a lawyer they don't want to hire in the first place, to then turn around and fight a battle with a corporation who's taking their land, who shouldn't have that right or that privilege to begin with," he said. 

Invenergy's spokesperson Beth Conley said if the service commissions authorizes the company to buy the transmission project they would make sure to protect the property owners' rights. 

"Invenergy has a long history of developing projects in close coordination and cooperation with landowners, farmers and ranchers across the United States and around the world," she said. "We would bring that same level of commitment to Missouri landowners and Missouri host communities that we have dedicated to every project that we have developed."

Another issue discussed in Tuesday's hearing was the funding for the project. Michael Skelly, Clean Line Energy's board chairman, said the company alone does not have the $3 billion to develop the transmission line and relies on investors, such as Invenergy. 

"Our plan throughout the nine years that we have been working through this has been to bring in resources to the project's efforts as those resources are needed and as the project moves forward," he said. 

Even if the deal with Invenergy doesn't come through, Skelly said he is confident the Grain Belt Express project would still happen. 

"We are moving toward a much cleaner energy mix and the cost of renewable energy continues to drop," he said. 

The second formal hearing would take place on Wednesday. 

Related Stories

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - Animal control is urging pet owners to keep their pets inside or in a safe shelter during the... More >>
38 minutes ago Friday, January 18 2019 Jan 18, 2019 Friday, January 18, 2019 5:02:00 PM CST January 18, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Salvation Army is providing food assistance for furloughed federal workers through their food pantry. Food assistance is... More >>
2 hours ago Friday, January 18 2019 Jan 18, 2019 Friday, January 18, 2019 3:27:00 PM CST January 18, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A man already facing charges of sexual misconduct for an incident in May 2018 now faces an additional... More >>
3 hours ago Friday, January 18 2019 Jan 18, 2019 Friday, January 18, 2019 1:56:52 PM CST January 18, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Department of Corrections and Governor Parson announced Friday a new plan to address staffing shortages... More >>
3 hours ago Friday, January 18 2019 Jan 18, 2019 Friday, January 18, 2019 1:50:00 PM CST January 18, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - An individual has been pronounced dead after a house fire Thursday night at 1203 Lakeview Avenue. Firefighters... More >>
3 hours ago Friday, January 18 2019 Jan 18, 2019 Friday, January 18, 2019 1:46:00 PM CST January 18, 2019 in Top Stories
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A Missouri congressman has apologized for yelling "go back to Puerto Rico" at Democrats on the... More >>
5 hours ago Friday, January 18 2019 Jan 18, 2019 Friday, January 18, 2019 12:08:00 PM CST January 18, 2019 in News
KINGDOM CITY - Callaway County deputies arrested a juvenile in connection to a threat made against students at North Callaway... More >>
7 hours ago Friday, January 18 2019 Jan 18, 2019 Friday, January 18, 2019 10:30:00 AM CST January 18, 2019 in News
HILLSBORO (AP) — An eastern Missouri police chief has resigned and an officer has been terminated amid an investigation into... More >>
7 hours ago Friday, January 18 2019 Jan 18, 2019 Friday, January 18, 2019 9:45:00 AM CST January 18, 2019 in News
HARRISONVILLE (AP) — A lawsuit alleges that a former Missouri high school coach had an inappropriate sexual relationship with a... More >>
8 hours ago Friday, January 18 2019 Jan 18, 2019 Friday, January 18, 2019 9:35:00 AM CST January 18, 2019 in News
MONITEAU COUNTY - Deputies arrested a Tipton man Thursday in connection with a pair of burglaries from around the county.... More >>
8 hours ago Friday, January 18 2019 Jan 18, 2019 Friday, January 18, 2019 8:56:00 AM CST January 18, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA – Across Mid-Missouri, MoDOT crews are making final preparations to ensure they are ready to take on this weekend’s... More >>
10 hours ago Friday, January 18 2019 Jan 18, 2019 Friday, January 18, 2019 7:24:00 AM CST January 18, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Public Works department is preparing for the winter storm that is set to hit this weekend.... More >>
19 hours ago Thursday, January 17 2019 Jan 17, 2019 Thursday, January 17, 2019 10:01:00 PM CST January 17, 2019 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A man has been charged with child endangerment after his 14-month-old son arrived unresponsive at a... More >>
23 hours ago Thursday, January 17 2019 Jan 17, 2019 Thursday, January 17, 2019 6:04:00 PM CST January 17, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Route AC (Grindstone Parkway) bridge of U.S. Highway 63 will close for 60 days this summer. MoDOT... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, January 17 2019 Jan 17, 2019 Thursday, January 17, 2019 5:34:00 PM CST January 17, 2019 in News
(CNN) -- The State Department is ordering its staff back to work next week, pledging that it will find the... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, January 17 2019 Jan 17, 2019 Thursday, January 17, 2019 5:12:00 PM CST January 17, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA – The Columbia Police Department acknowledged Thursday that the homicide may be connected to an early morning homicide in... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, January 17 2019 Jan 17, 2019 Thursday, January 17, 2019 5:01:00 PM CST January 17, 2019 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis newscaster has apologized for what he called an unintentional racial slur while referencing... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, January 17 2019 Jan 17, 2019 Thursday, January 17, 2019 3:30:00 PM CST January 17, 2019 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A 25-year-old Kansas City man is charged with murder in the shooting death of a... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, January 17 2019 Jan 17, 2019 Thursday, January 17, 2019 3:11:00 PM CST January 17, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 36°
6pm 36°
7pm 36°
8pm 35°
9pm 34°