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Missouri Cattlemen welcome denial of Grain Belt Express

On Aug. 15, the Missouri Public Service Commission denied Clean Line Energy Partner’s proposed power line, the “Grain Belt Express,” that would carry wind power via high-voltage power lines across the state. This denial marks the second rejection in just two years. The Missouri Cattlemen’s Association was quick to praise the PSC decision.

“While we are very pleased with the Public Service Commission’s decision, we know this fight isn’t over,” said MCA Executive Vice President Mike Deering. “We will continue working to block the Grain Belt Express from stomping on the rights of Missouri landowners, but the real focus needs to be ensuring that eminent domain is used as a last resort. It is not to be used by any entrepreneur looking to take private property to line their pockets.”

The company is made up of private investors based in Texas who want to sell electricity generated by Kansas wind farms to East Coast buyers. Deering said the Grain Belt Express project is a private marketing venture and the company should work with private landowners, who voluntarily opt to sell property, rather that condemning private property under the guise of a public utility

“Eminent domain is a tricky issue,” said Deering. “We do not believe eminent domain was ever intended to be a green light for any private entity to be able to take private property from a landowner. It was really intended to be used sparingly for public utilities, roads and schools that provide a direct benefit to the citizens of Missouri. We must ensure our eminent domain laws do not allow private, for profit companies to trample on private property rights.”