Salt River Journal

Letter to the editor: Regulators should approve the Grain Belt Express

Posted: Apr. 21, 2017 12:01 am

Modernizing our country’s aging infrastructure is at the forefront of the national agenda. Missouri is no different, and we have an opportunity to enhance our electric transmission grid bringing low-cost energy to Missouri communities and businesses for decades to come by approving the Grain Belt Express.

Recently, the Missouri Public Service Commission held hearings in Jefferson City to determine whether to approve the Grain Belt Express, a new powerline that will deliver some of our country’s cheapest power, directly to Missouri communities. This next-generation energy infrastructure project will power our state’s energy grid, save consumers more than $10 million per year and create jobs and economic growth. The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry strongly urges the Commission to approve this vital project.

Missouri’s regulators denied this project the first time around. So, the Grain Belt Express worked with Missouri’s municipal utilities to broker an even better deal, saving these Missouri utilities more than $10 million a year on their energy costs. Over the 25 year term of the agreement, that could be $250 million savings for Missourians.

The project will also produce more than $7 million in additional tax revenue for local schools and other community services, like law enforcement and fire protection services. It also has one of the most generous landowner compensation packages in the industry, and will pay more than $32 million for right-of-way easements.

If Missouri doesn’t approve this project, these jobs and investments will find their way to other states. Electric rates will increase for consumers. Failing to approve this project will send a signal to other industries that Missouri isn’t a welcoming place for free-market investments. Let’s not let that happen.


—Dan Mehan, Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry

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