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Your Opinion: Surcharge will boost economic development

Your Opinion: Surcharge will boost economic development

March 28th, 2013 by Bernard Fechtel, Jefferson City in News

Dear Editor:

There's been a bit of chatter lately about which way our local Sen. Mike Kehoe leans. If people would take him up on his offer and talk to him about the issues they'd know that he's not leaning at all but standing straight doing exactly what he promised to do.

He isn't trying to please one party or the other; he's representing the majority and the best interests of his constituents for the long term. Simply put, he's being a statesman. Is that always popular? No. But it means being versed in principles of leadership and government. Not all politicians are statesmen.

I strongly believe we need to pass Senate Bill 207 soon. Passage of this legislation will lead to lots of new jobs and improve energy reliability for all of us, which drives Missouri's economy. Yes it may cost us all (individuals and businesses) a few cents a day now but if we wait for failures in the system and become beholden to having to buy power generated elsewhere it will cost much more later.

Not only do we get the immediate surge in economic development we also put ourselves in a solid position to embrace future growth and location of business into our state. Sen. Kehoe, the sponsor of this bill, understands these issues. That's why he believes this bill is important to Missouri.

The math is very simple, infrastructure equals jobs; an updated electrical grid enhances economic output and this is our city and state's best path forward. That is why I think we all need to get on board and support Senate Bill 207.

Missouri already faces tough competition along our borders. We need to put ourselves in a position to create jobs and keep our competitors from stealing companies and stealing jobs.

If Missouri businesses and labor can agree on the importance of this issue, I think this sends a strong signal that this is the right thing to do. And the nay sayers? Check the facts. They are led and encouraged by a few large companies of which most are not even based in Missouri and they oppose it to keep their own current rates low. The largest of these pays a rate for electricity that is barely half of what I pay at my home.

We need to pass Senate Bill 207. We need to update our energy reliability. We need to move forward with economic development and we need to do it soon.