Effort to block Grain Belt line could result in hearing

By Gary Scott on April 15, 2015 at 1:08pm

A legal challenge is being mounted against a company that wants to put a high-voltage direct current electricity line through Illinois.

Kendra Davis with the Landowners’ Alliance of Central Illinois made an appearance on WLDS’ community relations program “What’s On Your Mind?” this morning to talk about Clean Line Energy Partners’ recent submission to the Illinois Commerce Commission.

The company wants to run wind energy from Kansas to Indiana, with a proposed route going through Scott and Greene Counties and an alternate route going through just Greene County. Clean Line Energy applied for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity with the ICC this week.

Davis says the Landowners’ Alliance is a legal entity that has been formed out of the Block Grain Belt Express opposition group. She says a petition will be filed, and an eventual hearing will be held.

“We are going to fight them at the ICC. The attorney, William Shay, will be the attorney for us, and he specializes in the area of public law and regulation for transmission and legal enterprises,” she says. “So, we’re going to use him to fight this case at the ICC.”

Davis points out the continued opposition the group has to eminent domain.

“This does not just encompass landowners. It’s not only property owners, farmers. It also includes any individual that does not believe in eminent domain for private gain. There’s a lot of heat right now amongst different states where they are starting to block eminent domain,” Davis says.

“They’re putting laws in place- Missouri is working on one, they’re working on them down in Arkansas, Tennessee- and we need to tell our representatives that we do not approve of eminent domain, especially when we do not have public gain.”

The ICC has until the end of the year to make a ruling on the power line project.

Davis says the group has good support, with about 2,000 people in Illinois that have expressed interest in blocking the line. If you are interested in finding out more, you can contact Landowners’ Alliance of Central Illinois, PO Box 165, Nokomis, IL 62075, or call 217-632-7046.