Missouri Farm Bureau President Blake Hurst made the following statement regarding last night’s eminent domain debate:
“In April, hundreds of landowners and citizens took time from their farms, businesses and families to rally at the Missouri Capitol and ask the legislature to oppose a drastic expansion of eminent domain. Last night, a small group of Senators said no.
“The bill would have reversed a recent decision by the Public Service Commission that granted the Clean Line Grain Belt Express project in northern Missouri the ability to take landowners’ property for a massive power line transferring power across Missouri. Clean Line is not a utility, is not in business to benefit Missouri taxpayers and electricity users, and the rates they charge will not be subject to approval by Missouri regulators.
“The PSC is mistaken, and it is the legislature’s responsibility to correct that mistake. The payment offered by Clean Line to landowners is around 5% of the payments other landowners are receiving in freely negotiated agreements for similar use of their property. Eminent domain should not be a subsidy by Missouri landowners to out-of-state investors and municipal utilities in a few, strategically chosen Missouri towns. Senators have just a few days to correct this injustice, and they must do so.”