- Associated Press - Friday, March 13, 2015

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri Public Service Commission has asked Grain Belt Express for more information about a proposed high-voltage transmission line that would run through part of southern Randolph County despite commission staff recommendations that it deny the company’s application for certification.

“The staff is not the commission,” said Mark Lawlor, director of development for Grain Belt. “Their conclusions of law and finding of fact is not that of the commission.” Lawlor said that the findings by the staff, which is made of engineers, utility economists and attorneys, will still be taken into consideration.

According to Lawlor, the request for additional information is evidence that the commission is doing its “due diligence” to “make an informed decision.”

The information requested by the commission concerns business contracts, financial backers and amounts, proposed economic benefits, rate structures and efforts to meet regulatory requirements in other states. The deadline for providing the information is April 11.

The Columbia Daily Tribune (https://bit.ly/1BwDYIS) reports that the company needs the certificate to build the line that would carry wind-generated power from Kansas to Indiana. The project faces criticism from some who believe it will negatively affect property values and people’s health, while supporters say that it will move the state closer to a voter-mandate that utilities generate at least 15 percent renewable energy by 2021.


Information from: Columbia Daily Tribune, https://www.columbiatribune.com

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