The Illinois Farm Bureau is concerned about the placement of new electricity transmission lines. At issue are the Rock Island Clean Energy Line, which is proposed as a 3,500-megawatt, 500-mile high-voltage, direct current overhead facility, the Ameren Illinois Rivers project in Central Illinois, proposed to transmit electricity across Central Illinois, and the Green Belt Express Clean Line, affecting the area along the Mississippi River south of Quincy.
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Farm Bureau President Phil Nelson wants to keep farmland in production. “There needs to be some methodology put in place that we don’t carve up some of our best soils in Illinois as we site these lines, so that they need to stay in boundary lines or follow state highways, interstate highways, if there is a need and necessity for those projects to take place,” he said. The projects are under review by the Illinois Commerce Commission.
Nelson is also concerned about federal farm legislation. What happens to federal farm policy if current legislation expires depends on who you ask, Nelson says. Nelson expects a conference committee to try to reconcile the differences between farm legislation passed by the House and Senate, but getting that done in a way that results in ratification in both houses and a signature from the president is cause for consternation, he says.