Rural Missouri - February 2011 - (Page 5)

Hart to Heart New legislation we need he Missouri General Assembly kicked off its 2011 legislative session Jan. 5. Ever vigilant, Missouri’s electric cooperatives are once again watching the activities at the statehouse with an eye on anything that could help or harm our members. Our most intense focus is on Senate Bill 50, introduced by Sen. Mike Kehoe from Jefferson City, and House Bill 124, introduced by Rep. Jeannie Riddle of Mokane. These measures could have a dramatic effect on the future supply of electricity for all Missouri consumers. Sen. Kehoe had this to say when he introduced the Senate bill, called the Missouri Energy Partnership Act: “This bill is important for maintaining Missouri’s energy independence, ensuring our electric rates stay among the lowest in the nation and creating good, high-paying, long-term jobs. Missouri’s electric rates are the seventh lowest in the nation, and taking action now will help keep us in that category for decades to come.” Gov. Jay Nixon, all of Missouri’s electric utilities, many local chambers of commerce, business leaders and labor unions have teamed up to T by Barry Hart bhart@amec.coop express strong support for this legislation. So what does this legislation do? In a nutshell, it preserves the opportunity for utilities to partner on a nuclear power plant to be built next to the existing Callaway Nuclear Power Plant owned by Ameren Missouri. The legislation is necessary to allow investor-owned utilities to recover the cost of the permit before the plant is built. For electric co-op members, this cost amounts to pennies on the monthly bill. As expected, opposition has emerged from the state’s large industrial users. These corporations are more focused on their shortterm bottom lines than the future needs of the state’s consumers. In fact, the most vocal opponent of this legislation has in the past indicated it might not even be around when new generation is needed in 2023. Here are the facts on what this bill does and doesn’t do: • Under the legislation, utilities could not recover site permit costs until a permit is obtained, probably after 2014. Costs could only be recovered if the Public Service Commission determines they were spent prudently. • The legislation would keep alive the option of building a nuclear power plant. It doesn’t commit anyone to actually building such a plant. • This legislation does not affect the state’s Construction Work in Progress “Nuclear power may be Missouri’s best available strategy for keeping electric rates low in the long run.” Barry Hart (CWIP) law. It is a limited exemption for a specific purpose. • The bills contain several consumer protection measures. For example, the bills require that any utility that has recovered costs from ratepayers relating to the permit must refund the amount collected if the permit is sold or transferred. Missouri’s electric cooperatives believe passage of Senate Bill 50 and House Bill 124 is in the best interest of the state and its consumers. Obtaining a site permit is the first step to construction of a power plant that would create approximately 3,000 new construction jobs and an additional 8,000 indirect jobs with an impact on the state’s economy of more than $1.2 billion per year. Nuclear power may be Missouri’s best available strategy for keeping rates low in the long run. Without ruling out the few other options for baseload power, it keeps the nuclear option open and puts us in a position to receive future federal incentives if we decide to move forward. Please join us in encouraging your elected officials to vote in favor of these important measures. Hart is the executive vice president of the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives. Guest Column Racing with America’s fuel I by Tom Buis n December, NASCAR announced a major long-term partnership with American Ethanol led by Growth Energy, a coalition of ethanol supporters from across the country. At its core, Growth Energy’s mission is to educate those Americans who know little or nothing about ethanol. By engaging these audiences with an aggressive campaign to promote the facts, we can expand public support for domestic ethanol. The American Ethanol partnership will enable us to talk to people on both coasts and the South, where the ethanol story has not been heard yet. In October, NASCAR announced that it would switch to E15 (a blend of 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline) for the 2011 season — a key validation of E15 as a fuel for all Americans. When Sunoco Green E15 debuts in NASCAR this year with the first rev of engines in Daytona Beach, Fla., it will be a reminder that with American ethanol, the fuel of the future is here today. The transition to Sunoco Green E15 also will take NASCAR’s environmental commitment to the next level. American ethanol, a renewable source of cleaner burning energy grown right here in America, helps create new green jobs. It also has generated a renewed sense of pride for the American worker, while helping achieve greater energy independence for our country. Through our partnership with NASCAR, we can tell America domestic ethanol is the commercially viable alternative we have to oil today, and it is made right here in America by our farmers and our workers. Missouri has six ethanol plants with a combined ethanol production capacity of 276 million gallons per year. Gross revenue from Missouri’s ethanol industry exceeds $700 million annually. These dollars roll over at least seven times in the state’s economy, year after year. With ethanol, we can create U.S. jobs instead of sending them overseas. Domestic ethanol is the key to “There is nothing more American than NASCAR and there is no fuel more American than ethanol.” Tom Buis making our nation energy independent. Every year, we send $300 billion overseas for foreign oil. It’s time we keep that money at home, and put it to work building our economy and putting our workers back on the job. Missouri’s ethanol industry has given the state’s corn farmers a vitally important opportunity to add value to their corn. These ethanol plants are the best means to keep corn revenue dollars working here in Missouri. We expect that NASCAR’s adoption of E15 will encourage all American motorists to embrace E15 and other higher blends. E15 is a high-octane fuel that provides quality performance without harming engines. At NASCAR’s opening race this month, the sport’s iconic green flag will feature the American Ethanol brand. The partnership is an enormous opportunity for our industry and the nation. There is nothing more American than NASCAR and there is no fuel more American than ethanol. Buis is the CEO of Growth Energy. More information on the group can be found at www.growthenergy.org. FEBRUARY 2011 5 http://www.growthenergy.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - February 2011

Rural Missouri - February 2011
Table of Contents
Comments
Columns
Life Behind Bars
A Powerful Idea
Mail Bag
Angels Among Us
Out Of The Way Eats
The Store Time Forgot
Hearth and Home
News Briefs
For the Birds
Out With the Old...
World Wide Wood
Marketplace
Around Missouri
Neighbors
Just 4 Kids

Rural Missouri - February 2011

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