As it had indicated last week, the Marion County Commission on Monday approved sending a letter to the Missouri Public Service Commission and officials with Clean Line LLC that details the commissioners’ withdrawal of support for the high-voltage power line project.
According to Lyndon Bode, presiding commissioner in Marion County, a variety of reasons were cited by the commissioners for their decision, including the use of eminent domain to secure easements, a feared negative impact on property values, potential health risks and the “scarring” of thousands of acres of land.
The letter explains that the commissioners’ action came after receiving numerous phone calls from constituents.
The commissioners took the step despite having known since last November that the route of the project would not be coming through Marion County. A preliminary route proposed by Clean Line Energy Partners of Houston, Texas, would have taken the transmission line across the middle of Marion County, and just north of Palmyra.
The Marion County Commission had initially expressed support for the project.
“That was before eminent domain was talked about,” said Bode in an interview with the Courier-Post last week. “That’s really a tipping point, the right of eminent domain, because we believe landowners should have the right to fair and adequate compensation.”
A definite route for the project has not been announced to the general public. However, a representative for Clean Line Energy Partners told Pike County Missouri Commissioners on Monday that the route decision has been made. According to the representative, the Grain Belt Express Clean Line will run through Randolph, Macon, Monroe and Ralls counties in Missouri and Pike County in Illinois. A formal announcement could come as soon as this week.
The Houston-based company still must receive construction approval from utility regulators in Missouri and Illinois.
Overall, the proposed 700-mile high-voltage transmission line will carry electricity, generated by wind turbines in western Kansas, from Illinois to the Mid-Atlantic Coast.
(Brent Engel contributed to this story.)
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding