Why the Missouri Sierra Club Opposes Missouri House Resolution 44
Proposition C explicitly excludes existing large hydro power from the renewable energy standard even though the goal of the standard is to encourage the expansion of wind and solar energy. As written, Prop C allows hydro only in cases of “hydropower (not including pumped storage) that does not require a new diversion or impoundment of water and that has a nameplate rating of 10 megawatts or less”.
HB 44 would allow hydropower to be included at any level, and so would allow the following plants to be included in the renewable energy standard:
* Keokuk 137 MW, Ameren’s (Keokuk, Iowa)
* Ozark Beach, 16 MW, Empire’s (Joplin)
* Bagnell 240 MW, Ameren’s (Lake of the Ozarks)
Respecting the Vote of the People
Missouri voters passed Proposition C in November 2008 with a 66% yes vote. HB 44 would overturn the will of the people of Missouri. Counties across the state supported the measure, including:
St. Charles – 67.7% Jackson – 72.6% Greene – 63.4%
St. Louis County – 66.4% Jefferson – 64.1% Butler – 62.4%
Franklin –61.7% Callaway – 59.4% Jasper – 61.7%
Clean Energy Jobs
The wind industry already employs more than 1,000 Missourians. Jobs are created in manufacturing, construction, and operations and maintenance. Some significant manufacturers include:
C.G. Power Systems – Washington ABB – Jefferson City
Lincoln Industrial – St. Louis Continental Disc Corporation- Liberty
FAG Bearings – Joplin Zoltek – St Charles County
In the state of Missouri, coal-fired power plants are responsible for 54 % of total air toxics emissions - these toxics include mercury, sulfur dioxide and hydrochloric acid, and are known or suspected to cause cancer and other serious health effects. These toxic air emissions are causing premature deaths, as well as an increase in childhood asthma. Wind and solar energy do not emit toxic air pollution.
New wind farms produce electricity more cheaply than new coal plants. Increased investment in renewable energy will mean lower utility bills compared to investing that same money in coal plants.
Wind is here now – Missouri needs to catch up!
Kansas produces about 15% of its electricity from wind.
Iowa produces 25% from wind.
Missouri produces 1.2% from wind (459 MW currently in operation)