AIM opposes eminent domain bill that would nix the Grain Belt wind line project
April 4, 2022- HB 2005, introduced by Representative Mike Haffner, a Republican that represents Cass County (District 55), was heard by the Senate Rules, Joint Rules, Resolutions and Ethics Committee chaired by Sen. Caleb Rowden. This bill would block the use of eminent domain for certain utility projects - specifically the Grain Belt wind energy transmission line.
Grain Belt Express is one of Missouri's largest infrastructure projects. The Grain Belt Express electric transmission line will boost Missouri's economy by delivering jobs, millions in local investment and energy savings, greater reliability, and rural broadband. The 800-mile line will deliver enough clean energy to power 1.6 million American homes in Missouri and other states.
HB 2005 would guarantee higher energy price inflation, harm energy reliability and domestic energy security. By letting a county block any utility-scale electric infrastructure project it would increase electricity costs to Missourians who are already fighting rising inflation by adding costs and time to all future electric transmission projects.
Invenergy believes HB 2005 is just the latest retroactive and unconstitutional attack on Grain Belt Express disguised as "eminent domain reform."
This bill would:
Violate the U.S. Constitution Commerce Clause by unduly burdening interstate commerce;
Violate Grain Belt Express's protected rights under the U.S. and Missouri Constitutions;
Expose Missouri taxpayers to $52 million in potential damages to Grain Belt Express; and,
Eliminate $12.8 million in annual energy savings for 39 Missouri municipal utilities.
Without this bill, the Grain Belt project would create 1,500 jobs for Missouri workers during construction every year for three years, create $12.8 million in annual energy savings for Missouri municipal utilities and generate over $7 million in property tax revenue in the first year of operations.
As House Bill 2005 looms over Grain Belt Express, about 70% of the right-of-way acquisition has already been completed across Missouri and Kansas, with $43 million in total landowner compensation and landowner protection agreements.