Contact: Heather Navarro, Missouri Coalition for the Environment
JEFFERSON CITY, MO – Key stakeholders will attend a Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) meeting today to support a state plan for reducing carbon pollution.
Today’s DNR meeting is one of the first with stakeholders to discuss the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed Clean Power Plan released in June. The proposed EPA standards under the Clean Air Act would require Missouri to reduce its carbon pollution by 21 percent by 2030 compared with 2005 levels.
Key environmental groups, energy producers, faith organizations, and other stakeholders support efforts to craft a state plan that both reduces carbon pollution and benefits Missouri’s economy.
“Missouri has an opportunity to create jobs, spur energy innovation, and protect our health with a strong state plan that curbs carbon pollution,” said Heather Navarro of the Missouri Coalition for the Environment.
Many organizations, including the Missouri Coalition for the Environment, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Renew Missouri, Midwest Coalition for Responsible Investment, Labadie Environmental Organization (LEO), and Environment Missouri support the development of a state plan with input from stakeholders that achieves federal clean air standards in a way that addresses Missouri’s unique challenges. They advocate that a state plan would be highly preferable to the federal government imposing its own plan on the state. Collectively these organizations represent more than 16,000 Missourians.
Carbon pollution from electric power plants is the largest contributor to climate change and extreme weather. In Missouri, power plants released 87 million tons of carbon pollution in
2011, equal to the annual emissions of 18 million cars. While the amounts of arsenic, mercury, and soot these plants emit are currently limited, the EPA’s proposed standards are the first time carbon pollution would be added to the mix.
Recent polling indicates the public strongly favors limits on carbon pollution. A poll conducted in June 2014 for ABC News and The Washington Post found that 70 percent of Americans support limiting carbon pollution emissions from existing power plants.
Climate-related disasters, such as extreme heat, drought, flooding, and crop loss cost Missouri taxpayers approximately $1.8 billion in federal clean-up costs in 2012. Events like these are projected to increase significantly as heat-trapping gases like carbon dioxide continue to warm the planet in coming years. Reducing carbon dioxide emissions from power plants is one of many measures being taken in the U.S. and internationally to mitigate these effects.
Missouri may consider a range of options in developing its pollution-reduction plan, but meeting existing state policy goals and requirements for producing renewable energy and energy efficiency can bring the state a long way towards achieving the goals set in the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. Missouri utilities have already had success with energy efficiency programs that reduce customer electricity bills by providing access to improved lighting, refrigeration, and heating and cooling equipment; these programs are likely to continue and grow in coming years.
The Natural Resources Defense Council has performed a detailed economic analysis that shows the potential for Missouri to create 3,900 efficiency-related jobs, while cutting electric bills and curbing carbon pollution. For more information on this analysis, see the NRDC carbon pollution standards fact sheet.