The Grain Belt Express Clean Line, an approximately 750-mile long proposed high-voltage, direct current transmission line that will transmit wind energy from Kansas to the east coast, has encountered opposition from landowners, who have formed a group called “Block Grain Belt Express.”
Marion County, Missouri has also declared official opposition to the line. Although the Grain Belt Express Clean Line website shows a proposed route going south of Marion County, the Marion County Commission signed a letter on Monday, March 24, 2014, to rescind their support of the Grain Belt Express.
The Marion County Commission cited several factors for their decision: the power of eminent domain to obtain property, health risks, loss of property value, and “the scarring of thousands of acres of land across the State of Missouri.”
The Marion County Commission had previously supported the Grain Belt Express Clean Line because the Clean Line Energy company officials assured the commissioners they would work with landowners.
However, now that Clean Line Energy is applying for public utility status, that reduces their motivation to work with landowners. Public utilities are granted the power of eminent domain, the power to take property for the utility easement.
Grain Belt Express Clean Line has already been granted public utility status in Kansas and Indiana, and has applied for public utility status in Missouri and Illinois.