In a recent editorial, Missouri Farm Bureau president Blake Hurst said, “Grain Belt Express has promised a series of steps it says will protect landowners, bragging that landowners will receive 32 million dollars in total compensation. However, the landowner compensation anticipated from Clean Line is predicated on the use of eminent domain, which means that individual landowners will have absolutely no bargaining power. Also the idea of promising energy savings to a few, but politically-influential, municipalities so Clean Line can then trample on the rights of others, is a precedent that is distasteful if not downright frightening.”
Mike Deering of the Missouri Cattlemen's Association (MCA) said his organization stands firmly behind the protection of private property rights. “The actions to-date of Clean Line Energy are best characterized as a pervasive invasion of private property rights. MCA fully supports the efforts of Block Grain Belt Express-Missouri to protect landowner rights and opposes Grain Belt Express Clean Line's application to the MO PSC,” Deering stated.
Other agricultural groups opposed to the project include Missouri Corn Growers, Missouri Sheep Producers, and Sydenstricker Implement, one of the largest John Deere businesses in the state.
Owner Eddie Sydenstricker, whose business has been serving the Missouri agricultural community for more than 70 years, supports agriculture and landowner rights, and opposes a private-for-profit company obtaining the power of eminent domain.
“I believe Grain Belt Express' massive high-voltage DC transmission line will not only violate property rights, but will reduce property value far beyond any token compensation, spoil our rural landscape, create obstacles in fields for our agricultural producers resulting in reduced productivity and increased costs, and it will also limit future options for farms and cause the potential for adverse health risks for residents and their livestock,” said Sydenstricker.
Also expressing opposition to the project were several Missouri lawmakers, including 40th District Representative Jim Hansen.
"I hope the Public Service Commission can continue to stand with Missouri citizens and their property rights. They voted in support of Missourians the first time around and I hope they will the second time. As a strong supporter of agriculture, which is the key industry in my district, I oppose the efforts of Clean Line Energy, the Grain Belt Express project, and their efforts to obtain eminent domain. I feel it is not right to put the interests of an out-of-state company ahead of Missourians' private property rights. Going forward, I will continue to do all that I can to preserve landowner rights and ensure that the Public Service Commission does not grant Clean Line a certificate of convenience," said Hansen.
Eight Missouri county governments have formally withdrawn support of Grain Belt Express, including Caldwell, Clinton, Chariton, Monroe, Audrain, Pike, Marion and Ralls Counties.
Ralls County Commissioner Wiley Hibbard said, “The citizens of Ralls County oppose this mega power line. It is, in my opinion, just an attempt by a small group of investors to make profits from the clean energy movement. Please know that this is not the only way to get wind-generated power to Missouri or Ralls County. We are receiving wind energy now. I think that anyone who wants to take our land by force to provide wind energy to the East Coast is just providing another example of the East Coast elitists telling us we do not matter!”
The Missouri Public Service Commission has scheduled public hearings in eight counties across the state beginning next week.
Jennifer Gatrel, spokeswoman for Block GBE-Missouri urged citizens concerned about this and other attacks on private property rights to attend. “The PSC listened carefully to our concerns last time they denied this project,” she said, “It is very important that they hear our voices again.”
The public hearing schedule:
Dec. 7, 2016: Monroe City, Knights of Columbus Hall, 12:00 p.m.*
424 South Locust
Dec. 7, 2016: Hannibal, Theater Auditorium, 6:00 p.m.
Hannibal-LaGrange University, 2800 Palmyra Road
Dec. 8, 2016: Marceline, 12:00 p.m.*
Walsworth Community Center, 124 East Ritchie
Dec. 8, 2016: Moberly, 6:00 p.m.
Moberly Municipal Auditorium, 201 West Rollins
Dec. 13, 2016: Cameron, 12:00 p.m.*
Cameron Community Center, 915 Ashland Avenue
Dec. 13, 2016: Faucett, 6:00 p.m.
Mid-Buchanan High School, Multipurpose Room, 3221 SE Route H
Dec. 14, 2016: Polo, 12:00 p.m.*
Community Center at Stagecoach Park, 1010 Main Street
Dec. 14, 2016: Carrollton, 6:00 p.m.
Rupe Community Center, 710 Harvest Hills Drive
*In order to be able to move equipment to the next local public hearing that same day, 12:00 p.m. local public hearings will end no later than 4:00 p.m.
For more very important info please visit: http://blockgbemo.com/