The first of eight public hearings on a controversial high-voltage power line is today.  

State regulators will be at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Monroe City at 11 a.m. and Hannibal-LaGrange University in Hannibal at 6 p.m.

Houston Texas-based Grain Belt Express Clean Line wants to transmit electricity generated by wind power from Kansas through Missouri and Illinois to Indiana. Randolph, Monroe and Ralls counties in Northeast Missouri and Pike County in West-Central Illinois are included on the 750-mile route.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has given the green light to the project, but it still must be approved by the Missouri Public Service Commission and regulators in Illinois.

Formal hearings by the PSC are scheduled in November in Jefferson City.

Supporters say the line would create jobs, boost revenue for counties and schools, and reduce pollution. Opponents are concerned about land values, property rights and what they say is a lack of benefit to Missouri electricity customers.

Other hearings are August 14th in Marceline and Moberly, September 3rd in Cameron and St. Joseph and September 4th in Hamilton and Carrollton.