Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-4) has introduced bipartisan legislation to protect the property rights of Lake of the Ozarks landowners who are threatened by a dispute involving the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and electric utility AmerenUE. The bill is co-sponsored by the other eight members of Missouri's congressional delegation. Under a shoreline management plan issued as part of AmerenUE's license to operate the Osage Hydroelectric Project at the Lake, thousands of homes and other structures within the project boundary would have to be removed.
"FERC's ruling defies common sense," said Hartzler as she filed the bill. "Its action was not supported by any good reasoning or evidence showing why it was needed or how it would help. FERC's ruling tramples on private property rights and ignores recorded deeds and easements."
"We realize this matter is still under appeal," continued Hartzler. "But since this ruling is causing so much harm to the already-fragile real estate and construction markets at the Lake, we feel we cannot wait for a long, drawn-out court battle to solve the problem. This action on the part of FERC is causing the whole Lake community to suffer, economically. This economic downturn will lead to delays in much-needed infrastructure repairs and will hurt schools which depend on property taxes to provide our children with the quality education they deserve. This is a prime example of an out-of-control federal government agency making decisions without regard for citizens."
The Hartzler bill follows a September letter to FERC, signed by all nine members of Missouri's congressional delegation. The bill is identical to the Landowner Protection Act, bipartisan legislation introduced by Missouri Senators Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill. Both bills would prohibit FERC from issuing any plan that requires the tearing down of structures along the Lake.
Vicky Hartzler was elected to Congress, representing Missouri's Fourth Congressional District, on November 2, 2010. The Fourth District includes areas in and around Lake of the Ozarks.