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Group Pushes for Missouri Vote on Green Energy

Published at: Jan 22, 2012
source: Ozarks First
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Most people agree 'going green' is the right thing to do. But when you take a look at the numbers Missouri doesn't match up to other "eco-friendly" states.
Many 'greener' states require 25% of energy come from a renewable source.

Only 3% of Missouri's power comes from wind, solar, hydro or biofuel sources.
But some energy experts in Springfield are hoping a boost to those renewable energy sources will improve the environment and the economy.

"We want to reduce the dependency on having to import energy sources, let's say fossil fuels, into Missouri," says Zeke Fairbank, Owner of the Alternative Energy Company.  "For every dollar we buy coal from Wyoming that's a dollar that is not being spent in Missouri." 

Fairbank has turned his passion for green technologies into a life mission.

"We are still pretty far down the ladder in terms of how efficient we are with the utilization of the energy that we consume," says Fairbank.

Zeke is one of a handful of environmental experts in the Ozarks who are preparing for new legislation known as the "Power to the People" campaign.

"Presently the energy standard that we have is reduced to about 3% renewable energy for the state," says Jennifer Ailor of Ozarks New Energy.  "Other states it's more like 25%.  [The petition would] establish a 25% renewable energy standard by 2025.  That means that 25% of the electricity would be generated from a renewable source and that power needs to come from Missouri or nearby states."

You can find renewable energy in four ways: wind, hydro, biofuel and sun light.  With five peak hours of sun light here in the show me state.  Experts say Missouri's answer may be in the sky.

"Missouri ranks as one of the top states in the country for the amount of solar energy that we get," says Fairbank.  "We get five peak sun hours a day which is fantastic.  We are on par with parts of California, Florida and Texas."

"If we are importing oil from overseas," says Fairbank.  "That's all money that is going overseas.  With trickle down economics, where if you have money that is spent locally that money recycles itself and is spent over and over again.  That money is going off shore or to other states.  That's money that isn't being recycled in Missouri." 

The Power to the People campaign is waiting on the Secretary of State to approve the petition wording. 

If approved it will be available to gather the 180,000 signatures it needs by early may to be placed on the November ballot.

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