Missouri House OKs ban on eminent domain for wind power line

February 25, 2021 GMT

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The use of eminent domain for a large wind-energy power line cutting through Missouri would be banned under a bill passed by the state House on Thursday.

The GOP-led House voted 123-33 Tuesday in favor of the bill, which would prevent the use of property owners’ land for the Grain Belt Express power line without their permission.

The high-voltage power line would carry wind energy from Kansas across Missouri and Illinois before hooking into a power grid in Indiana that serves eastern states.

The aim of the Missouri bill to stop the project’s developers, Invenergy Transmission, from pursuing condemnation if landowners won’t sell easements, which means allowing a piece of their land to be used for the power line.

Grain Belt developers decried the legislation as short-sighted and said the power line will lower energy costs for Missourians.

“Now more than ever, Missouri’s economy needs this billion-dollar project to proceed and families and businesses need the reliability and utility savings Grain Belt Express will deliver,” Invenergy spokeswoman Beth Conley said in a statement.

The measure now heads to the Republican-led state Senate for consideration.