Hawley Fights to Defend Missouri Landowners From a Federal Takeover

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Today U.S. Senator Hawley (R-Mo.) sent a letter to Secretary Granholm and introduced new legislation to block federal attempts to seize Missourians’ land. 

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), led by Senate Democrats and signed by President Biden, gave the Department of Energy (DOE) authority to designate new transmission line corridors and seize land from Missouri landowners. Last week the DOE announced the next stage in this National Interest Electric Transmission Corridor (NIETC) process, proposing a corridor across Missouri. If implemented, this designation will allow the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to approve eminent domain for new transmission lines even when they have been previously denied by state regulators.

Senator Hawley wrote to DOE Secretary Granholm urging her to stop the implementation and protect Missouri landowners.

“This issue is important to farmers in my state, who have already had to deal with Invenergy’s attempts to build electric transmission lines through farmlands […] by designating a new NIETC in Missouri, you have chosen to federalize this issue and take any future consideration away from state regulators […] I strongly urge you to stop any further consideration of this project and listen to the farmers of Missouri,” wrote Senator Hawley

Following his letter, Senator Hawley introduced new legislation, the Protecting Our Farmers from the Green New Deal Act to repeal these provisions permanently and give back Missouri landowners’ rights to advocate for their property. 

The Protecting Our Farmers from the Green New Deal Act would: 

  • Prohibit FERC from issuing electrical siting permits where State regulators already have jurisdiction to authorize these projects.
  • Require FERC to find that any proposed electrical transmission projects it approves minimizes adverse effects on landowners and farmers, adequately compensates them for any loss, and provides benefits to consumers in the State.
  • Prohibit FERC from reviewing any electrical siting applications where a State regulator has previously denied an application.

Read the full letter to Secretary Granholm here

Read full text of the bill here.