The Missouri Energy Development Association (MEDA) says it will propose renewable energy legislation during the next session of the state legislature in January in response to the recent renewable energy initiative petition filed by Renew Missouri. The group also says it is evaluating filing its own renewable energy ballot initiative.
According to MEDA, its proposed legislation contrasts with Renew Missouri's proposed initiative petition. MEDA's proposal encourages development of regional renewable energy resources while limiting rate increases to no more than 1% for all customers.
MEDA says Renew Missouri's proposal would result in much higher rate increases for Missouri families and small-business owners than what was approved in 2008. Different groups of customers pay significantly different amounts under Renew Missouri's proposal, according to MEDA. Large industrial customers would pay only a fraction of what families and small businesses pay as a result of the rate subsidies built into Renew Missouri's proposal.
In 2007, Missouri's utilities helped pass the state's first renewable energy legislation by supporting S.B.54, the Green Power Initiative, which encouraged investment in renewable energy by creating a target of 11% of electricity generated by renewable resources by 2020, and by allowing Missouri residents and businesses to generate their own renewable energy. One year later, in 2008, Missouri utilities either supported or did not oppose Proposition C, an initiative petition that increased Missouri's renewable energy mandate to 15% by 2021.
Proposition C also provided a 1% rate increase limit, protecting all Missourians from excessive rate increases as a result of renewable energy mandates, MEDA says.
‘Missouri's electric utilities support renewable energy and have a demonstrated history of investing in electricity generated from wind, solar and hydro energy whenever it is in the best interest of the customers we serve,’ said Trey Davis, president of MEDA, in a statement. ‘Our legislation supports significant investment in renewable energy resources in this region and is consistent with Proposition C passed by Missourians in 2008.’