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The latest news from every corner of the state, including policy emerging from Missouri's capitol.

MO House Bill Proposes Blocking Eminent Domain For Construction Of Electric Lines

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Chris Hunkeler/Flickr, License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode
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Rural landowners and utility companies—among others—debated personal property rights and the Grain Belt Express at a House committee hearing Monday afternoon.

A House bill proposes that private entities, like for-profit companies, cannot have eminent domain for the purpose of constructing electric transmission lines.

Marilyn O’Bannon, a landowner in Monroe County, supports the bill.

“I want you to think about the farmer out here. You’re not gonna lose just that easement, you’re gonna lose production of all the ground they come across.”

Opponents cited the need for cheaper energy in smaller, rural communities and the burden that is the current reliance on other peoples’ transmission lines.

Stephan Franke is a Hannibal resident who opposes the bill and supports the Grain Belt project.

“I’m from a community of 17,000 people with a 20% poverty rate. We would get our energy a full-third cheaper than we currently are in the open

Market.”

Supporters of the bill cited concerns about their land being taken, losing productive farmland and whether or not the landowners would benefit.