Block Grain Belt Express taking a stand against energy project

By Ryne Turke on February 9, 2015 at 1:18pm

The spokeswoman of Block Grain Belt Express Illinois is sharing her group’s opinion on why West Central Illinoisans should be against the clean line project.

The Grain Belt Express Clean Line could run through Greene and Scott Counties, take wind energy from western Kansas and go through Missouri, Illinois and western Indiana.

Kendra Davis talks about why the Block Grain Belt Express Illinois is against this project.

“What this company would like to do is come in and take our land by eminent domain,” says Davis.

“Most companies use this for public gain, but this company would use it for private gain. This would pad their own pockets and take the power generated in Kansas and ship it to the east coast. Eleven governors have said they don’t want Midwest energy.”

According to Davis, east coast states would prefer to produce their own wind and tide energy by use of the Atlantic Ocean.

Davis adds that valuable land would be wasted if Grain Belt Express was approved to put wind turbines and converters across the Midwest.

“All they want to do is take our farm ground. Illinois has some of the most productive farm ground in the country. We have some of the highest yields in corn and soybeans and they want to disturb that,” says Davis.

Misinformation is another key aspect of why Block Grain Belt Express is against the project.

“We are being misinformed whether it will be monopoles or towers that are 200 feet tall. These towers would be taller than the Statue of Liberty, stretching across the farm ground,” says Davis.

“They have not been fully upfront with us on all their information. You can speak with one individual who tells you they are going to the ICC in March and then you speak with someone who says they are going in September.”

Each proposed pole would take up over an acre of land, rendering that farm land out of production.

According to Davis, the Grain Belt Express Clean Line isn’t as “clean” as we all think.

“They aren’t able to provide 100 percent clean energy through this clean line being portrayed. They are only able to produce 20-30 percent of the amount that line could handle with wind turbines in Kansas. So they have to have some other source to maximize that entire line,” says Davis.

Davis also mentioned studies have shown a risk of leukemia for children near electric lines.

Block Grain Belt Express Illinois will be following the lead of Block Rock Island Clean Line, a group which has gone up to the Illinois Commerce Commission to oppose a project running from Iowa through northern Illinois.

For more information about the group, go online to blockgbeil.com and to listen to the complete interview with Davis visit the “What’s On Your Mind?” section our website.

The Grain Belt Express will hold the third and final round of meetings next month.