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Hawley confronts director over Biden’s hostile takeover of Missouri family farms

WASHINGTON — In a Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs hearing today, U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) pressed Eric Beightel, the Biden-appointed Executive Director of the Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council, on his agency’s endorsement of the Grain Belt Express. This green-energy transmission corridor is set to cut across Missouri, confiscating farmers’ land in its tracks while failing to adequately compensate landowners.

“Why is it a good idea to go over the heads of the people of Missouri and give this expressway—which is being developed by a private company that’s making probably billions of dollars on it as they take farmers’ land—why is that a good idea?” asked Senator Hawley.

Senator Hawley also made Director Beightel aware that the Grain Belt Express is highly controversial throughout Missouri and farmers in the state strongly oppose the construction of it.

“On behalf of the people from my state, I think it’s outrageous that a private corporation can take this kind of land. We’re talking about a massive corridor right across the central part of Missouri. We’re talking about taking land from farmers whom whose families it has been in for generations,” Senator Hawley continued. They don’t hire lobbyists. They don’t appear before your agency—clearly.

Senator Hawley has repeatedly gone to bat for Missouri farmers against the Biden Administration’s hostile takeover of family farms.

Last November, Senator Hawley sent a letter to Invenergy CEO Michael Polsky, demanding the private company make commitments to operate in good faith, as well as adequately compensate landowners affected by the Grain Belt Express construction campaign.

Senator Hawley has also introduced the Just Compensation Act of 2023 to prevent the federal government and private companies from confiscating Missourians’ property without adequate compensation.

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