Clean Line energy announced last week that its proposed Grain Belt Express power line will not pass through Pike County.
In a statement issued Wednesday, March 26, Clean Line selected a route that will go through eight Missouri counties, Buchanan, Clinton, Caldwell, Carroll, Chariton, Randolph, Monroe and Ralls. That route is north of the second choice route which went through Pike County south of Bowling Green and just north of Clarksville.
But power line opponent Jodie Dickens of rural Louisiana fears that Clean Line could still utilize that route.
“It’s a proposed route,” Dickens said. “There’s nothing that says they can’t change their mind.”
Dickens is protesting the placement of the line anywhere in Missouri, fearing it will cause property values to drop. Dickens and the Block Grain Belt Express group also fear that Clean Line will be granted public utility status that would give it the right of eminent domain to seize land for the line which will string from Kansas to Indiana.
That request is pending with the Missouri Public Utilities Commission, (PUC). There is also a court intervention and legislation from Rep. Jim Hansen against it.
In addition, the Pike County Commissioners have come out against the power line after first being attracted to it as a possible property tax boon.
However, Clean Line Director of Development Diana Rivera gave no indication Clean Line would place the power line on the Pike County route in an interview last week.
The decision was made as a result of the public outreach Clean Line has done for the last three years, Rivera said.
The route “has the least impact to land usage, natural and cultural resources,” Rivera said.
However, Clean Line has a long way to go to build the facility. The PUC must also approve the project.
“They will decide if there is a need to build it,” Rivera said. Clean Line would also have to deal with each county to get local building permits to cross roads, rights of way and other utilities, Rivera said.