So, anyhow, E&E News gushes on about Nixon's arguments before the Missouri appellate court on behalf of Grain Belt Express. They actually sent a reporter to listen to that? Boring! Same old confused arguments. Same old pointless points. Who cares whether it's an area certificate or a line certificate? It simply doesn't matter.
That's because Grain Belt Express will still need the assent of all counties for its transmission line to cross county roads. That's an entirely different statute that isn't part of this appeal. Section 229.100 says:
229.100. No person or persons, association, companies or corporations shall erect poles for the suspension of electric light, or power wires, or lay and maintain pipes, conductors, mains and conduits for any purpose whatever, through, on, under or across the public roads or highways of any county of this state, without first having obtained the assent of the county commission of such county therefor;...
What is on appeal is whether the PSC should deny a certificate to a project that does not have county assent, or whether it may issue a conditional certificate contingent upon the transmission owner gaining assent at some time in the future. That is the only issue on appeal. Even if GBE wins this appeal, it would still have to receive county assent before it builds anything.
The E&E News reporter must have gotten this information from an unreliable source:
And the counties the project would cross initially gave their assent to Clean Line, only to see some of them later try to withdraw their approvals.
The issue of assents would have to be tried as a separate matter. This appeal is a colossal waste of time.
And then even E&E questions whether the project would actually be built.
Even if the court agrees with Clean Line, the fate of the Grain Belt Express is uncertain.
"We are committed to moving this innovative project forward," Mark Lawlor, vice president of development for Clean Line, said in a prepared statement. "With increased customer demand for low-cost renewable energy, new transmission projects are more necessary than ever."
Maybe Mark is just trying to polish the GBE turd in order to try to sell the entire project to some other sucker, such as the way it sold Plains & Eastern to NextEra?
For Sale: Distressed transmission project. Championed by former state governor who is now practicing law. Millions in debt and no guarantee it will ever have enough revenue to come to fruition. Only needs some minor county government assents.... and paying customers. Make offer.