Court of Appeals Rules in Favor of Neighbors United, Ameren Weighing Options
In a decision handed down today, March 28, 2017, in the case against the Missouri Public Service Commission (PSC) and the Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois (ATXI) brought by Neighbors United Against the Mark Twain Transmission Line, the Missouri Court of Appeals in the Western District ruled the PSC did not have the authority to grant ATXI a “conditional certificate of convenience and necessity (CCN) to construct a long-distance electric transmission line.” And, they vacated the PSC’s CCN effectively un-granting it.
The ruling was made by a three judge panel.
“We don’t consider it a big win yet,” said Marion Spring, representing Neighbors United. “We are happy (the Court of Appeals) upheld Missouri laws and statutes.”
Should Ameren/ATXI choose to continue to fight for the right to build the Mark Twain Transmission Line in Northeast Missouri, they will have to force each county the proposed transmission line touches to grant approval to the project before going back the PSC for a CCN, which, according to the ruling, can only be given after each individual county grants their “assent” to the project.
ATXI filed lawsuits against Adair, Knox, Marion, Schuyler and Shelby counties in October of 2016. Each county commission and each individual county commissioner was named and is being sued for not granting “assent” to the Mark Twain Transmission Project. Those cases are still filtering through the Missouri legal system.
Ameren Transmission of Illisnois (ATXI) released the following statement after today’s decision by the Court of Appeals:
We are disappointed in the decision of the Missouri Court of Appeals in the appeal of the Mark Twain Transmission Project’s Certificate of Convenience and Necessity, which the Missouri Public Service Commission granted after determining that the project is in the best interest of the citizens of Missouri — greatly benefiting the state through economic growth and tax revenue, greater reliability, and improved access to lower-cost renewable energy such as wind power. Delays due to legal challenges only result in delaying millions of dollars in benefits that the project is expected to bring to Missouri residents. We are reviewing the ruling and will consider all options, including whether to seek rehearing in the Court of Appeals or to ask the Missouri Supreme Court to hear the case.