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Nov 09

Politics, Economy, the Environment and Your Electric Bill in Missouri

by Mike Ferguson

(St. Charles, MO) – While the elections have dominated the news these last few weeks, our state government is working on an energy plan for the future. Regardless of what the plan ends up including or excluding, it will impact you.

It’s called simply the Missouri State Energy Plan and you can still voice your opinion on what should and should not be included.

Among those working to influence the final plan is Renew Missouri. Executive Director P.J. Wilson explains.MWSnap022

“Our hopes at Renew Missouri is that the state plan includes a really serious look at energy efficiency and renewable energy as resources. We know that when power companies invest money in energy audits and extra insulation and that kind of thing for their own customers, that’s by far the cheapest thing they can invest in. It’s way cheaper than any form of new power generation.”

The goal of the state plan is to reduce carbon emissions while ensuring reliable access to power. Former State Representative Carl Bearden isn’t sold on assertions from environmental advocacy groups that man-made climate change requires abandoning current energy sources like coal. He wants those making the final decisions to keep the needs of businesses in mind during the process.

“As a lawmaker, a legislature, you want to know the laws you’re passing are based on solid science or solid evidence and, so far, as far and environmental [issues] go, whether it’s global warming or whatever the name du jour is, it’s simply not there in sufficient quantities to convince people.”MWSnap021

Bearden is now the Executive Director of the conservative advocacy group United For Missouri.

He worries that requiring more sourcing from renewable energy for power and mandating less use of coal will result in job losses due to higher energy costs. Wilson disagrees, saying the green energy technology for sources like solar and wind now make renewable energy as efficient as coal-powered energy.

The effort to create a state energy plan is the result of a federal initiative to reduce carbon emissions. Each state has an individual goal.

Bearden says in an interview on “Missouri Viewpoints” that he supports the use of renewable energy for electricity as long as government mandates are not part of the process. To him, the private market will attract both investors and customers to green energy once it delivers power at the same or at a lower cost than coal.

Wilson says he hopes the state plan will include retiring current fossil fuel-based energy plants and not replacing them with a newer one. He wants the state to, instead, focus on bringing renewable energy generation on line to take the place of coal.

On the web:

Renew Missouri: www.RenewMO.org

United For Missouri: www.UnitedForMissouri.org

Permanent link to this article: http://missouriviewpoints.com/politics-economy-the-environment-and-your-electric-bill-in-missouri/