Letter to Editor: Grain Belt Express benefits many across the state – HB 1062 thwarts that progress

By Craig Workman

As I business owner, I care about keeping Kirkwood a great place to do business. One boost coming to Kirkwood’s business environment is the Grain Belt Express project (GBX), recently given unanimous consent from the Missouri Public Service Commission (PSC). The GBX project will see a transmission line deliver affordable energy to 39 cities across the state; communities including Kirkwood, Columbia, Rolla, Hannibal, Waynesville, and more. The transmission route in northern Missouri will bring approximately $500 million in direct investment.

This is also a boost to our state and puts more than 1,500 Missourians to work building the line. It provides more than $7.2 million in new tax revenue along the eight-county path in northern Missouri.

Unfortunately, the Missouri House General Laws committee is considering HB 1062. This bill will effectively kill the GBX project. Why, when the GBX project benefits more than just a small portion of the state?

The fact is, those 39 cities are spread across the state. Through their local municipal utility, cheaper utility costs are coming. Many more cities (and counties) will benefit from the jobs, investment, and tax revenue. GBX will benefit more than 350,000 Missourians; which is more than 165,000 municipal utility customers. As a business owner, seeing our local municipal utilities able to stabilize, maybe even lower, ever-increasing electric rates, I’m encouraged.

I urge all of our area legislators, and those across the state to oppose HB 1062.

Craig Workman is a business owner in Kirkwood, Mo.