Monday, February 27, 2006

Missouri Legislature Shoots Down Mandatory Renewable Energy Standard

I dicussed the proposed renewable energy standard for Missouri a few weeks ago... It died today in the legislature, as Republicans (who pretty much own the capitol) backed "a bill Monday that would set goals for only certain utilities to try to meet." I think this is a real shame, but I'm not surprised -- the only thing the Missouri Republican party does better than pandering to moralistic bigotry is bending over for their corporate backers. But that's really neither here nor there -- we consumers need to be doing much more to press the utility companies to adopt renewable energy portfolios and to work with businesses and individuals to create meaningful net metering policies. The last couple of paragraphs of this article really summed it up, unfortunately:

[Republican senator Chris] Koster said his self-titled "Green Power Initiative" is a prudent, cost-effective way to gradually increase the use of renewable energy sources. It sets a goal of selling 3 percent of electricity from renewable sources by 2012 - a mark Caisley said could already be met. The bill sets a 7 percent goal by 2015 and increases to 10 percent five years later.

"Missouri is not among the forefront of environmentally progressive states," Koster said while explaining the goal to colleagues, "and I've been cautious in crafting this bill not to make it too aggressive."

Nobody would accuse Koster of being to cautious -- considering the standards other states have set, this is pretty embarrassing. Perhaps if our legislatures actually showed some vision and leadership, we could be "among the forefront of environmentally progressive states." I'm bitching and moaning, true, and I think their are ways to do this without setting mandatory percentages, but c'mon -- we can do better than targets that we'd really, really like the utilities to try really, really hard to meet... please...?

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