Missourians For a Balanced Energy Future Coalition Works to Carry Statewide Message

By Guest Contributor

First posted on 02-02-2009

A diverse new coalition will carry a statewide message that clean and renewable energy must power Missouri’s economic development engine. Missourians for a Balanced Energy Future (MBEF) is a non-profit, non-partisan coalition comprised of rural, urban and suburban residents, small and large businesses, labor, farmers and trade groups.

MBEF will work in the 2009 Missouri General Assembly to educate Missourians about energy issues and enact legislation that promotes new clean and renewable energy sources while providing accountability and regulatory oversight in the interest of consumers.

“The overwhelming voter approval of Proposition C last November shows a majority of Missourians agree our future is in clean and renewable energy,” said Irl Scissors, executive director of MBEF and a veteran environmental lobbyist and former state official. “Now we must legislatively provide the best long-range tools to implement this recent voter mandate, while assuring that future generations will have a clean, balanced, affordable and reliable energy supply.”

Mark Fohey, a veteran labor leader and secretary of MBEF, speaks for workers who are eager for good-paying jobs building clean and renewable power plants. “As a representative of hard-working Missourians who are also power consumers, I want to help assure the most cost-efficient financing tools are available to make major building projects a reality,” said Fohey, president of the Columbia-Jefferson City Construction and Building Trades Council.

For example, Fohey noted that if AmerenUE is able to build a second nuclear plant in Callaway County, it would be the largest construction project in Missouri history, with a projected cost of more than $6 billion. The Callaway II project would employ approximately 4,000 workers at its peak and generate an estimated $1.2 billion in annual economic activity. “I support clean and renewable energy plant construction that also puts new power into Missouri’s economy by creating jobs and revenues,” Fohey said.

“Our members are from large cities and small communities, uniting as advocates for reliable, clean and affordable energy solutions to meet Missouri’s needs, develop its economy and create new jobs,” said Warren Wood, MBEF’s treasurer and president of the Missouri Energy Development Association, which is comprised of the state’s investor-owned utilities.

“Our coalition members are from diverse backgrounds,” Wood said, “but we agree that securing Missouri’s reliable energy sources for tomorrow means making common-sense decisions today, and those common-sense decisions begin with our elected lawmakers.”

MBEF’s co-chairs from across Missouri will be publicly introduced in coming days. For more information about how Missouri can assure a balanced energy future, visit MBEF on the Web at http://www.moenergyfuture.org