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Missouri legislators have until 6 p.m. Friday to decide Grain Belt's fate

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Peter Key's picture
Freelance Writer, Editor, Consultant Lansdowne, Pa.

I've been a business journalist since 1985 when I received an MBA from Penn State. I covered energy, technology, and venture capital for The Philadelphia Business Journal from 1998 through 2013....

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By the time Missouri's legislative session ends at 6 p.m., Friday, the future of Invenergy's proposed Grain Belt Express transmission project could be decided.

A bill that would require developers seeking to use eminent domain proceedings to acquire land for transmission projects to obtain resolutions of support from commissioners in counties through which the projects would pass is likely to be the subject of a long debate in the Missouri Senate, Sen. Doug Beck, a Democrat representing St. Louis, told Allison Kite of The Missouri Independent. The bill would kill the Grain Belt Express, as several commissioners in northern Missouri counties that it would go through have said they oppose it.

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The language in the bill targeting the Grain Belt Express was added by the Missouri House to Senate Bill 141, which began as legislation requiring the Missouri Public Service Commission to create a renewable natural gas program. The addition made the House version of the bill different than the Senate one, so the bill went to a conference committee, where three Republican senators let the language stay in.

The Grain Belt Express would be a high-voltage, direct current transmission line that would bring up to 4,000 megawatts of wind power roughly 800 miles from western Kansas through Missouri and Illinois to the Land of Lincoln's border with Indiana.

Invenergy has gotten the project approved in Kansas, is fighting to get it approved in Missouri and is still evaluating options for the project in Illinois.

 

 

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