I am concerned to read the news reports that the Missouri Public Service Commission (PSC) is seriously considering denying Clean Line Energy the regulatory approval it needs to build high voltage transmission lines, carrying clean low cost electricity from Kansas wind farms to Missouri, and beyond to states further east.
This would prevent Missouri from moving forward with transitioning to renewable energy, needed to lower electricity costs, revitalize the economy, provide tax revenue for local communities and schools, hundreds of new jobs at companies across Missouri, and cleaner air, water, and land, reducing emissions from coal-burning power plants.
Missouri relies on aging coal-burning power plants to generate 80 percent of the state's electricity.
This is one of the highest rates in the U.S. and the world. Of the earth's annual global greenhouse emissions, 1.5 days per year come from Missouri. We pay a high price in terms of economic and job loss, rising health and energy costs, and dimming prospects of a viable world for future generations.
Missouri is blessed to live next door to America's greatest wind energy across the Great Plains, essential to providing renewable energy to our state and across the nation.
Wind is the lowest cost electricity in the U.S. today, about four cents/kWh. In contrast, Ameren's steadily rising residential summer rates are now 13.3 cents/kWh.
Many states are moving ahead with renewable energy, generating tens of thousands of jobs. Iowa and South Dakota generate almost 30 percent of their electric power from wind. California plans to generate 50 percent renewable electricity by 2030. We need to move as expeditiously as possible.
The Arctic sea ice is rapidly disappearing and accelerating climate change. The Stanford Solutions Project shows how the U.S. can power 100 percent of our energy needs with wind, water, and the sun by 2050.
Missourians overwhelmingly passed the Renewable Energy Standards in 2008 with 66 percent of the vote. This support has grown to 77 percent according to a recent survey. However, the RES are not supported by Missouri government despite their myriad benefits for Missourians. Kansas wind energy knocking on Missouri's door is a golden, win-win opportunity to achieve a healthier more economically vibrant state with a brighter future.
Clean Line's proposal will enable Missouri to achieve an affordable, reliable, secure, state of the art energy grid, while cutting pollution and protecting our health and environment, now and for future generations.
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