Appeals Court Rules in Favor of PSC Decision on Grain Belt Express
A member of Healy Law Offices in Missouri, Douglas Healy has served as an attorney for more than two decades. Focused primarily on energy and utilities laws, attorney Douglas Healy and his colleagues have worked on numerous cases over the years, including the Grain Belt Express Line project, which involves building power lines that will deliver electricity from Kansas wind farms to consumers and utilities in Missouri, Indiana, and Illinois.
In December 2019, the Missouri Court of Appeals Eastern District ruled in favor of the project. This ruling was prompted by an appeal from the Missouri Farm Bureau and landowners in the northern part of the state who are against the construction of the line. According to these groups, the Public Service Commission made an error in judgement when granting those behind the project the ability to use eminent domain to construct the power lines. Eminent domain was approved for the project based on the belief that it was in the public interest. However, the Bureau and others claim that the Grain Belt Express is not a public utility.
The appeals court ruled that the Invenergy-owned project is in the public interest, as it would save customers of the Missouri Joint Municipal Electric Utility Commission between $9.5 million and $11 million every year. Additionally, the project would facilitate Missouri’s movement toward reliable, environmentally friendly energy sources.