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State regulators split on wind energy line

A $2 billion project in Missouri may soon not be happening.

On Wednesday ABC 17 News spoke with the Public Service Commission after their recent discussion of the Grain Belt Express Clean Energy Line.

The line would run more than 700 miles from Kansas to Indiana, passing through northern Mid Missouri.

The project promises to provide clean and affordable energy.

Right now three commissions are not in support of the line while the other two are.

It is a project many feel strongly about in Mid Missouri since the lines will be going through people’s property and many are worried about eminent domain, property values, and health risks.

Those are all things the Public Service Commission has been taking into consideration as they decide whether to give Grain Belt the final approval.

“The next step in the process is that the judge assigned to the case will draft an order and he will bring that order to the commission in a future agenda meeting. The comission in an agenda meeting will ultimately decide the case,” said Kevin Kelly, spokesman for PSC.

If the vote turns out to be against Grain Belt, Grain Belt leaders told ABC 17 News that it doesn’t mean their project can’t be completed. It could still happen.

“We will take a look at all of our options. We will of course have to see the language in the final order but we certainly believe as do a number of commissioners and hundreds of people throughout the state of Missouri that this project is too important to not happen,” said director of development for the Grain Belt Express Clean Line.

Indiana and Kansas have already given Grain Belt approval.

Lawlor said Illinois is likely to as well because of past experiences, so it comes down to Missouri.

“The indication from the Missouri commission is problematic for the schedule. We really don’t want to delay this any longer than we have,” said Lawlor.

The PSC does not have a specific time when they have to vote by.

Kelly told ABC 17 News it could happen around the end of June.

If the vote is against Grain Belt Lawlor said one of the options to continue the project could be getting the Department of Energy involved.

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