Testimony: Environment Missouri opposes HB 527

Environment Missouri's testimony opposing HB 527 which would eliminate the construction of the Grain Belt Express.

A wind farm in a field
Wind farm
Bridget Sanderson

Former State Director, Environment Missouri

Chairman and Members of the Committee, 

As the Director of Environment Missouri, a citizen-based environmental advocacy group, I speak on the behalf of our members across the state in opposing HB 527, modifying the provisions for eminent domain for public utilities. This bill will effectively make it more difficult to build the transmission lines known as the Grain Belt Express. While we work hard to protect our clean air and water, the added benefits of jobs for Missourians, $500 million in infrastructure investment, $7 million in added tax revenue, and possibility of broadband infrastructure to rural Missourians mean we must support the construction of the Grain Belt Express. Environment Missouri is working to proactively reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and improve climate resilience. We believe that the construction of the Grain Belt Express is imperative to fostering a reduction in Missouri’s reliance on fossil fuels. Changing our dependence from non-renewable resources to abundantly available renewable energy from our neighboring state in Kansas.  One of Environment Missouri’s main goals is to work for climate resiliency while supporting solutions that generate quality of life benefits, which leads us to agree with the Missouri Public Service Commission’s determination that the Grain Belt Express is a project for public use and in the public interest.  We understand the concerns of Missouri property owners, however, the United Nations’ IPCC, along with leading scientists, continue to warn us of the dangers we will face if we do not act with urgency to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. Missouri relies on one of the highest amounts of coal in the United States. Coal power plants increase our greenhouse gas emissions while assisting in polluting our air and water. We must start relying on cleaner forms of energy in order to reach our renewable energy goals in Missouri and the 2,500 MW of inexpensive, sustainable wind energy these transition lines will provide can aid in that transition. Therefore, Environment Missouri opposes HB 527 in order to provide improved life benefits for all Missouri residents. 

Thank you Chairman and members of the Committee, 

Bridget Sanderson

Director Environment Missouri

[email protected]


Bridget Sanderson

Former State Director, Environment Missouri

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