My fellow Missourians:
In 2008, Missouri overwhelmingly passed a Renewable Energy Standard that set a goal of providing 15% of our state’s electricity from renewable resources by 2021. This is a very achievable goal that would energize our state’s economy (pardon the pun) by adding a projected 22,000 jobs.
HB 44 is an attack aimed at weakening that standard.
HB 44 seeks to reclassify EXISTING hydroelectric plants in Missouri as renewable sources of electricity. What’s the problem with that? By reclassifying pre-existing hydro plants, it looks as if the state is closer to the 15% goal WITHOUT adding any renewable energy to our grid! This bill adds NO new jobs, NO new infrastructure, does NOTHING to reduce pollution, and does NOTHING in general except make utilities seem like they are complying with the standard, when they are actually doing NOTHING!
The renewable energy standard set in 2008 is achievable, with benchmarks of 2% in 2011, 5% by 2014, 10% by 2018, and finally 15% by 2021. This in not even an ambitious goal: Kansas has a RES goal of 20%, and Illinois is going for 25% by 2025. Iowa already generates 25% of their electricity from renewable sources.
This bill is attempting to hamper progress in Missouri. It has already passed the house. Let’s stop it in the senate! How can you help? Visit Renew Missouri, call your senator, and check in for updates on the bill.
A related question: IS hydroelectricity a form of renewable energy? erm… Sort of. More on that from Berkeley Energy & Resources Collaborative blog.