Jefferson City, Mo. – Grain Belt Express was on the agenda at a meeting between Governor Parson’s staff, state legislators, and county commissioners on January 22. The elected officials briefed the Governor’s Deputy Legislative Director, Jeff Earl, and Policy Director, Kayla Hahn, regarding their concerns. The elected officials are apprehensive at the possibility that Invenergy, a private, out-of-state electric generation company unknown to them, may be wielding the power of eminent domain in our state.
“We shared our concerns with the Governor and will continue our fight to ensure that a private company seeking a utility’s eminent domain authority is not allowed to set new precedent in Missouri,” said Rep. Jim Hansen. “Eminent domain is a grim tool that should be reserved only for public use, not private profit.”
Also attending the meeting to share constituent concerns were Rep. Tim Remole, Rep. Chuck Bayse, Rep. Dave Muntzel, and Rep. Cheri Toalson Reisch. The legislators were joined by commissioners from Caldwell and Ralls Counties.
Commissioners in attendance were, Randolph County Presiding Commissioner John Truesdell, Ralls County Presiding Commissioner Wiley Hibbard, Caldwell County Associate Commissioner Jonathan Abbott, and Ralls County Associate Commissioners John Lake and R.C. Harlow. The Commissioners shared their worry for constituents who are facing the threat of eminent domain, and reiterated their continuing concerns on how the Grain Belt Express power line will adversely affect the people and way of life in rural Missouri. The project would still need county commission assent, even if approved by the Public Service Commission.
The Commissioners were united in their message to the Governor. “It is imperative that the PSC require a full application from Invenergy. The idea that any company with only an agreement to purchase Grain Belt Express can come in at the eleventh hour and be given the power to take our land by force staggers even our most liberal view of how government should work. We find it absurd that it is even being considered,” the Commissioners stated.
"I was very impressed by Gov. Parson’s staff members, Jeff Earl and Kayla Hahn,”
said Presiding Commissioner Wiley Hibbard. “We could tell they are genuine in their concerns for rural Missouri. I want to thank the Governor for giving us their time. Also, I want to thank the members of the Missouri General Assembly for attending,” Hibbard continued.
Rep. Hansen is inviting landowners and citizens who are concerned about Grain Belt Express to deliver their letters addressed to the Governor to his office, and he will continue to make sure they are hand-delivered. In addition, all the elected officials at the meeting welcome comment and discussion from their constituents on this matter.
Where to send your letters:
Rep. Hansen’s e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mailing address: State Capitol, 201 W. Capitol Ave., Room 111,
Jefferson City, MO 65101-6806
Please support the Ralls County Herald-Enterprise by subscribing today!