Missouri AFL-CIO calls for General Assembly to protect Grain Belt Express jobs

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Last-minute attempts to block the transmission line project threaten Missouri manufacturing and construction jobs during an economic crisis

Jefferson City - Today, the Missouri AFL-CIO urged the General Assembly to abandon any last-minute attempts to block the Grain Belt Express transmission line which would put more than 1,500 Missourians to work over three years in construction and manufacturing jobs.

“More than 453,000 Missourians have filed for unemployment during this economic shutdown. Now is not the time to play politics with a $500 million investment from a private company,” said Mike Louis, president of the Missouri AFL-CIO. “The AFL-CIO has supported this project from the beginning. But now it is of even greater importance that we protect the jobs and local tax dollars this project will generate at a time when so many Missourians are suffering through economic hardship.”

SUPPORTED BY ORGANIZED LABOR
The renewable energy project is supported by organized labor and companies within the state’s manufacturing industry, like Hubbell Power Systems which is set to provide manufacturing and logistics for the project. In addition, dozens of large corporations, including General Mills, Target, General Motors, Proctor & Gamble, Kellogg’s, PAR Electrical Contractors, Nestlè, ABB, Unilever, Wal-Mart, WEG Transformers, and Owens Corning, have vouched for the project.

A LIFELINE FOR RURAL MUNICIPALITIES
At a time when cities are already projecting losses due to decreases in sales tax and other important tax revenues, this project could be a lifeline for municipalities in the eight rural Missouri counties, who would lose $7.2 million annually in local property tax revenues if the General Assembly blocks the project. Hundreds of thousands of Missourians who receive electricity from consumer-owned, local utilities, stand to lose over $12.8 million in savings on their electricity costs if the project is halted.

“During this crisis, we need to focus on how to put Missourians to work and put money back in their pockets. Grain Belt Express does exactly that and will bring hundreds of millions of dollars of private investment into the state at a time when it is direly needed. We need legislators to vote no on any anti-Grain Belt legislation,” said Louis.

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