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Victory for the Climate in the Missouri Supreme Court

The Missouri Supreme Court ruled in favor of a new wind transmission line, the Clean Line Grain Belt Express. This project will bring clean, renewable, and affordable wind energy from Kansas to the Eastern energy grid. The line’s proposed path will pass through northern Missouri, and will provide some of this energy to local utilities, as well.

Great Rivers’ Climate and Energy Director, Henry Robertson, represented our clients the Sierra Club and Renew Missouri in favor of this project. Unlike many transimission lines, which will carry any type of energy across the grid, the Grain Belt Express would transport only wind energy. Addressing the threat of climate change will demand a way to get the cleanest renewable energy from where it is most abundant to where the demand for energy is most abundant. Robertson explains that the Grain Belt Express does just that.

“The wind is on the Great Plains where the people aren’t,” said Robertson. “To stop climate change we have to get wind energy to the populations farther east. The Grain Belt Express addresses that need.”

The Missouri Public Service Commission (PSC) rejected the project last fall because it considers itself bound by an opinion of the Missouri Court of Appeals Western District in a different transmission line case. Clean Line appealed to the Missouri Court of Appeals Eastern District, where we intervened on behalf of the Sierra Club and filed a brief in support of Clean Line on November 28, 2017, as co-counsel for Renew Missouri as well.

The Court of Appeals ruled in our favor, and the case proceeded to the Missouri Supreme Court. We are elated that the arguments made in favor of Clean Line by their attorney, Jay Nixon, will lead to cleaner air and more sustainable energy for us all.

You can read more about the case at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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