Rural Missouri - April 2013 - (Page 5)

Hart to Heart Linemen: The new American heroes in reducing the time our members are gency assistance program that has without power. But it takes way more been in place since 1948. Because of than a plan to make disaster recovery this program, electric cooperatives are a reality. It’s the strong work ethic of never alone when disaster strikes. It “These are the times that try men’s these linemen that gets the job done. takes just one phone call to the Assosouls.” I’ve witnessed a number of these ciation of Missouri Electric Cooperamajor outages, and I am always tives to speed help on the way. homas Paine penned those amazed at what these crews accomThese days, we are assisted by new words during the dark days plish in some of the worst possible technology that makes it possible to of the American Revolution. working conditions. track outBut they apply During the latest outages often equally well to recent ages, these linemen before events, when thousands worked 16-hour days members of electric cooperative To learn more about power repairing the damage. know they members found themrestoration efforts, click this They battled slick are withselves without power in button inside our digital roads and snowdrifts out power. the wake of two powerful edition, online at that often required We also winter storms that struck pulling their trucks can make Missouri less than a week from pole to pole. On more effective use of apart. many occasions, they crews by tracking where Paine also wrote, “the harder the abandoned the trucks the trucks are. conflict, the more glorious the triumph.” altogether and lugged We’ve enacted this And that aptly sums up the accomtools and materials into program many times plishments of a new breed of Ameriplaces no truck could over the years, and it can hero. I believe the title of “hero” reach. always has succeeded perfectly describes the electric co-op lineman. Linemen always have been unsung “Linemen always have been the unsung heroes who labor without regard to their own comfort in order to ensure heroes who labor without regard to their own their neighbors have electricity in the comfort in order to ensure their neighbors have wake of some horrific natural disasters. Never more was this dedication electricity . . . ” to duty on display than during the Barry Hart recent outages. Missouri has a time-tested emerby Barry Hart T More inspiring is the fact that many of these men repaired their own electric co-op’s outages, then hit the road to help neighboring systems make repairs. Often, they worked overtime and returned home to a cold house with no power. In fact, at Three Rivers Electric Cooperative, one of the systems hit by Winter Storm Rocky, one of the last members reconnected was one of the co-op’s linemen. I am quite sure these men consider a winter storm a personal slap in the face from Mother Nature. They know how critical electricity is to homes, schools and businesses. For this reason, they do whatever it takes to get the power flowing. I’ll leave you with one more quote from Paine: “The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.” Let’s show our “love and thanks” to these unsung heroes who turned disaster into triumph. Thanks to all of you who did so much. When Mother Nature was at her worst, you were at your best. Hart is the executive vice president of the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives. Guest Column Protecting Missouri’s energy future L by U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill ast March, the U.S. Department of Energy announced it would support a new undertaking: the design and quick commercialization of small, American-made Small Modular Reactors (SMRs), a new generation of safe, emission-free and cost-effective nuclear power generators. This decision will enhance our nation’s manufacturing opportunities, boost our energy security and put us on the cutting edge of a critical industry. The project also will help ensure the United States remains a world leader in the manufacturing of nuclear technology, and that we cede no ground to foreign competitors. To further our national security goals and attain energy independence, we need a wide variety of projects and an all-of-the-above approach. We must continue to expand renewable energy production and complete the long-overdue Keystone XL pipeline. A joint proposal between Ameren Missouri, one of the state’s power providers, and Westinghouse, a firm with expertise in nuclear power, presented an exciting opportunity. Their propos- al, had it been approved, would have immediately created new jobs and put our country on the front lines of developing this state-of-the-art technology. It also would have provided for increased investments in technical training and nuclear expertise at Missouri’s colleges and universities. I was deeply disappointed when the Department of Energy announced late last year that the Ameren/ Westinghouse proposal had not been approved. Knowing that strengthening our energy security and promoting domestic job creation aren’t partisan issues, I worked with my Republican colleagues U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer and U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt. We collectively worked to ensure that the Ameren/Westinghouse proposal was fairly considered and shared in the disappointment of the Department of Energy’s decision. I was particularly surprised to learn that the Department of Energy chose to award only one company with a contract to build SMRs. The original plan for two contracts would have increased competition in the SMR marketplace, enhancing development, reducing costs and ensuring quick deployment of the technology — the ultimate goal of the program. Instead, the department has indi- “I firmly believe SMRs are a part of our future and that Missouri has the talent, resources and expertise to compete.” U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill APRIL 2013 cated they plan to go in a different direction and issue a new funding announcement for SMR technology that will focus on innovation, bypassing the initial goals of competition and commercialization. I believe this recent decision by the Department of Energy is misguided and is contrary to the purpose of the SMR program. That is why I’ve again teamed up with other members of Missouri’s congressional delegation to request that DOE provide detailed reasons for abandoning their original plan and to urge them to reconsider making a second award under the initial funding announcement. Such a result would fulfill the department’s initial promise and allow the Ameren/Westinghouse application to get the consideration it deserves. I’ll continue working as hard as I know how to make sure that the U.S. remains a leader in this emerging field and that Missouri companies get a fair chance to compete. I firmly believe SMRs are a part of our future and that Missouri has the talent, resources and expertise to compete. McCaskill is Missouri’s senior U.S. senator. 5

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - April 2013

Rural Missouri - April 2013
Table of Contents
Companion planting
News Briefs
Operation cooperation
It’s all about redemption
Best of rural Missouri
Hearth and Home
Marmaduke’s Cape expedition
Around Missouri
The soldier’s paper

Rural Missouri - April 2013