Court rules against Ameren, kills Mark Twain Transmission Project

The Missouri Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Neighbors United Tuesday, likely finishing the project for good without a hearing from the Supreme Court (Photo: KTVO)

The Missouri Court of Appeals drove home what is likely the final nail in the coffin for the Mark Twain Transmission Project Tuesday, siding with Neighbors United against Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois.

In the long-awaited decision handed down Tuesday, the court ruled that a certificate of convenience and necessity can only be issued after a utility has received permission from a county to build a power line. The ruling negates the decision made by the Missouri Public Service Commission last year that approved the line on the condition that Ameren secure permission from each county.

That decision, the court said, overstepped the PSC’s authority. Instead, Ameren needed to have permission from the counties in hand before applying for the certificate.

Each county affected by the potential power line had already rejected any proposals from Ameren.

The appeals court was likely the last hope for the utility company, which has faced stiff opposition since the project got off to a rocky start in 2014.

An Ameren spokeswoman said the company is disappointed in the court’s decision, and is considering remaining options.

“Delays due to legal challenges only result in delaying millions of dollars in benefits that the project is expected to bring to Missouri residents,” a statement from the company said. “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.”

A spokeswoman for Neighbors United told KTVO in an email that the group is "pleased that the Western District Court of Appeals upheld the laws and statutes of Missouri."

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