Supports the initiative

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Memo to Local League Presidents

September 25, 2008

To: Local League Presidents

From: Win Colwill, LWVMO Energy Director

Re: Support for Proposition C, the Renewable Energy Standard

Help spread the news that the League of Women Voters of Missouri supports Proposition C, the Renewable Energy Standard initiative. The measure was finally put on the November 2008 ballot after Missourians for Cleaner Cheaper Energy successfully challenged election authorities’ initial decision that supporters had failed to submit enough valid signatures. League members were among the 400 volunteers who collected 163,000 signatures on petitions for the “Clean Energy Initiative”.

What does Proposition C do?

It amends Missouri state law (not state Constitution). It requires investor-owned utility companies (AmerenUE, Kansas City Power & Light, Empire District and Aquila) to buy or produce part of their electricity from eligible renewable energy sources, including wind, solar, biomass and hydropower.

The requirement increases in steps from 2% of electric retail sales by 2011 to 15% by 2021, including at least 2% from solar energy. Compliance cannot increase consumer electric rates by more than 1%. Customers will be offered rebates of $2/watt for on-site solar electric systems. The measure includes certification and enforcement procedures, and tradable renewable energy credits. Estimated state cost: $395,183. For details: Secretary of State ballot issues; Clean Energy Coalition

Why does the LWVMO support Proposition C?

LWVMO endorsement stems from the League’s national energy and environmental positions. Passage of a mandatory Renewable Energy Standard (RES) has been a top LWVMO legislative priority since 2000. After the legislature passed weak, voluntary goals instead, the state board endorsed the renewable energy initiative petition campaign and encouraged local League participation.

Passage of Proposition C will put Missouri on a path to a sustainable energy future by ensuring that more of the state’s electricity will be supplied by “home-grown” renewable energy sources. Currently 86% of the state’s power is generated by coal produced in distant states; the coal plants are a major source of Missouri’s global warming carbon dioxide, as well as other pollutants harmful to health and the environment. Last month the LWVUS issued a call for a nationwide 10 year moratorium on construction of new coal-fired power plants.

Missouri has good solar, wind and biomass resources, largely untapped. Diversifying electricity sources will improve security and reliability of the electric system. RES laws stimulate development of new industry and technology, providing jobs and new income sources for farm communities and urban areas.

The RES assures renewable energy producers and investors of stable and growing markets for their products. RES laws are cost-effective and administratively efficient. More than half of new renewable energy capacity developed since 1998 is located in the 26 states with RES policies, states a 2008 report by Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory; associated rate increases have typically been l% or less.

Help educate your members and the public, through newsletters, emails and Letters to the Editor, on the benefits of Proposition C for Missouri. Ask them to vote “Yes” on Proposition C on Nov. 4.

--RachelB 19:41, 27 September 2008 (UTC)