Landowners lose fight against wind transmission line

A Missouri state appeals court has ruled in favor of regulators over rural landowners who were fighting the Grain Belt Express Transmission line to carry wind-powered electricity from Kansas to Illinois.

The line runs across northern Missouri and in a ruling on Tuesday, the Missouri Court of Appeals Eastern District turned aside claims that the Public Service Commission was wrong in giving the go-ahead for construction of the line.

The 19-page ruling is the latest victory for backers of the project, which aims to bring Kansas wind energy east to Missouri, Illinois and Indiana, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

In a unanimous decision from PSC commissioners in March, the project received “a certificate of convenience and necessity” — a designation recognizing it as being in the public interest, and lending developers the right to use eminent domain as needed to construct the line.

Landowners in the path of the transmission lines, as well as the farm bureau, appealed the decision, arguing the PSC had misinterpreted evidence and state utility laws in granting the approval.

The court disagreed with the opponents, known as the Missouri Landowners Alliance.

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch