Missouri puts clean energy initiative on ballot

By Kris Bevill
Web exclusive posted Oct. 17, 2008 at 9:34 a.m. CST

Voters in Missouri will have the opportunity to require utilities to begin using more renewable sources of power when they head to the ballot boxes on Nov. 4.

If approved, Proposition C, the Missouri Clean Energy Initiative, would require the three investor-owned state utilities to generate or purchase 15 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2021. Appropriate renewable sources include biomass, solar, wind, and hydroelectric landfill gas.

An organization known as Missourians for Cleaner Cheaper Energy is responsible for bringing the initiative to voters. Organization spokesman Tony Wyche said the initiative is meant to "put some teeth" onto a voluntary standard that was passed by state legislators in 2007.

The proposed standard is similar to mandates already in effect in 26 other states. So far, Wyche said the initiative has received tremendous bipartisan legislative support as well as from a broad-based coalition of industry, labor, faith and environmental groups.

The three utilities that would be affected by the standard are Kansas City Power & Light, Ameren Corp. and The Empire District Electric Co. Wyche said KCP&L has endorsed the policy proposal, making the proposal that much more likely to pass. The other companies are remaining neutral on the issue.

More information on the clean energy initiative can be found at www.missouricleanenergy.org.