All aboard the Grain Belt Express?

The Illinois Commerce Commission Thursday approved a "certificate of convenience and necessity," which the company overseeing the overhead wind power transmission proposal says is the final regulatory approval in Illinois.

The line would originate in Kansas and end in Indiana, covering more than 200 miles in Illinois.

"This project will help to modernize Illinois' infrastructure," says Grain Belt manager Amy Kurt of Clean Line Energy Partners, "while reducing wholesale energy prices, creating jobs and boosting local economies throughout central Illinois."

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That "certificate of convenience and necessity" sounds too much like eminent domain to opponents, such as Joe Gleespen of Rosamond, in downstate Christian County.

"The application of the law is clear of what should have happened," he says. "This is one battle in a war that will continue."

The ICC's vote was 3-2.

Kurt says her next task is to convince Missouri to change its mind - that state has already rejected the proposal.


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