Rural Missouri - November 2011 - (Page 12)

M by Jim McCarty jmccarty@ruralmissouri.coop issouri’s strong work ethic and low electricity rates are bringing new jobs to the state. That is the message Gov. Jay Nixon brought to the annual meeting of the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives held Oct. 5-7 in St. Louis. Besides Nixon, the meeting included U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan, state Sen. Mike Kehoe, state Sen. Tom Dempsey, state Sen. Ron Richard, Missouri Department of Natural Resources Director Sara Parker Pauley, Missouri Department of Agriculture Director Jon Hagler, the Missouri Conservation Federation’s Dave Murphy, Public Service Commission Chairman Kevin Gunn and Laclede Electric Youth Tour delegate Lindsey Kolb. In addition, John Cassady from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association spoke about the effectiveness of Missouri’s electric cooperative grassroots legislative efforts while the national group’s Bruce Barlow offered insights from member surveys. AMEC President Dennis Fulk started the meeting by comparing the association to a football team. “We’ve said it many times before, but this is truly a great team,” said Fulk, a director from Platte-Clay Electric Cooperative. “And this focus on teamwork is why Missouri has such a great reputation among the nation’s cooperatives. While we don’t win every game, I’m proud of the hard work the association does on our behalf.” Added Barry Hart, CEO of the association, “What I have learned by analyzing every other state is that we have something special here in Missouri. Because of everyone gathered here, we have such a strong, unified effort. We have a lot of challenges to face, but in the end we all do the right thing for the member at the end of the line.” Nixon told about a $1.1 billion investment made by Ford to bring a line of cars once made in Europe to its Claycomo plant. That move, which will add 1,600 jobs, will ripple through the state in places such as Dexter, Joplin and Mexico, Mo., where parts are made for these vehicles. “It all ties back to having that abundant, reliable power,” Nixon said. “The things we have — hard workers, affordable power, tailored incentives — will bring about the rebirth of manufacturing right here in the Show-Me State. Being the state with the seventh cheapest power in the country, along with our work force, puts us in a position where Ford Motor Company, that can put its plant anywhere in the world, invests $1.1 billion here.” He also thanked Missouri’s electric cooperatives for getting involved when he announced plans to improve high-speed Internet service in the state. He said 88 counties that did not have service or were underserved when he took office will soon be globally connected thanks in part to the efforts of four electric co-ops. “Simply put, Missouri’s broadband revolution would not have been possible if you all had not signed up on day one. As your governor, I thank you for that.” Sen. Kehoe, who co-sponsored leg- Left: Gascosage Electric Director Jim Humphrey sends a message to Congress supporting House Resolution 2273, which would prevent the EPA from regulating coal ash as hazardous waste. Below: Sen. Mike Kehoe gives an update on nuclear power legislation. Co-ops take action photos by Kyle Spradley Nixon, Kehoe highlight need for more job growth in state during 2011 AMEC annual meeting photo by Kyle Spradley Retired Farm Bureau President Charlie Kruse, flanked by electric co-op leaders who are also Farm Bureau members, received the association’s Mr. Co-op Award for his support during his time at Farm Bureau and with the Missouri Department of Agriculture. tion still can have the seventh-lowest islation that would keep the nuclear rates in the nation.” power option alive for Missouri, also He vowed to push legislation in talked about job creation at the meet2012 that would not commit utilities ing. He said a new power plant would to building a nuclear power plant but create 4,000 jobs on site and another would let them 10,000 conkeep all of the struction jobs, options open as while ensuring they make key reliable electricidecisions on ty for the future. power supply. Echoing The DNR Nixon’s comdirector spoke ments on lowabout a key cost power, the issue for electric freshman senacooperatives, tor said it’s time the effects EPA for power supregulations will pliers to make have on power decisions on generation. “We where the elechave a great tricity for future opportunity to generations identify new will come from. innovations,” “Our generation photo by Jason Jenkins Parker Pauley needs to make said of her decisions now Gov. Jay Nixon said Missouri’s strong work agency’s efforts so that 15 or 25 ethic and inexpensive electricity are making to protect the years from now, it easier to bring new jobs to the state, such state’s natural the next genera- as the ones Ford is adding in Claycomo. resources. “Are there better ways to do things? Sure there are. The great ideas don’t tend to come from government. The great ideas come from those who are out there every day having to deal with regulations.” In his speech, Hagler praised the electric cooperatives for “delivering opportunity.” He said, “It is agriculture that is moving us through this recession. Agriculture makes Main Street come alive and co-ops make agriculture come alive.” The meeting included a panel on Joplin tornado recovery, with officials from the State Emergency Management Agency and Empire Electric joining Sen. Richard at the podium. The association presented its highest honors to several individuals. Rex Cragen, former director at Ralls County Electric, and retired Macon Electric Manager Wayne Hackman, received the Distinguished Service Award. United Electric Cooperative Manager Gene Dorrel was honored with the Frank Stork Democracy Award. Charlie Kruse, former president of the Missouri Farm Bureau, received the Mr. Co-op Award. 12 WWW.RURALMISSOURI.COOP http://WWW.RURALMISSOURI.COOP

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

Rural Missouri - November 2011
Table of Contents
Comments
Columns
In search of Missouri mills
Co-ops take action
Outdoors
Best of rural Missouri
Out of the Way Eats
Second chance ranch
Grant takes command
Hearth and Home
News Briefs
The hillbilly approach to the Woodstock nation
Marketplace
Around Missouri
Neighbors
Just4Kids

Rural Missouri - November 2011

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