Nov 15 2011
WASHINGTON D.C. – U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) filed two amendments to the Energy and Water appropriations bill today that will help protect current and future landowners’ rights from federal regulators’ infringement. According to recent reports, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) may remove a number of properties located on the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri that are owned by private citizens.
In order to help protect current landowners, Blunt’s first amendment would direct Ameren to redraw the current boundaries at the Lake of the Ozarks to reflect the 662-foot contour, as necessitated by the changing waters levels over the past 80 years. This amendment would limit FERC’s ability to issue an order to remove structures in the project boundary until Ameren submits the revised project boundary. It would also limit FERC’s ability to reject applications as long as power generation is preserved. U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill (Mo.) is cosponsoring this amendment.
“This situation is ridiculous, and the people who call the Lake their home deserve a solution now – not next year,” said Blunt. “That’s why this amendment would help protect current landowners from having their homes removed, and ensure that Ameren takes the proper steps to protect privately-held land from government infringement.”
In an effort to also protect future landowners nationwide, Blunt’s second amendment would modify the Federal Power Act by changing the definition of what can be considered a “project purpose.” Blunt’s amendment would change current law to ensure that FERC includes the consideration of “private landownership and private land use” within the project boundaries. Currently, FERC recognizes public recreational use of land, but not private ownership. U.S. Senators Jim Inhofe (Okla.) and Claire McCaskill (Mo.) are cosponsoring this amendment.
“It’s outlandish that FERC places more value on protecting public recreation use of land over private ownership,” said Blunt. “My amendment would ensure that private landowners are protected now and moving forward.”