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Report: Missouri Businesses Could See Big Benefits from Clean Power Plan

Missouri businesses could save millions by switching to clean energy. (epa.gov)
Missouri businesses could save millions by switching to clean energy. (epa.gov)
August 4, 2016

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — This week marks a year since the Obama Administration's Clean Power Plan was finalized, and a new report said the plan could provide big benefits for businesses.

Commercial customers are responsible for nearly one-third of all electricity-related carbon pollution nationwide. According to Dr. Marilyn Brown, study author and professor at Georgia Tech's School of Public Policy, implementing the Clean Power Plan could produce significant savings in 2030.

"Bills for electricity could be reduced by 6.7 percent if states were to include energy efficiency as a strong component of their compliance approach,” Brown said.

That's an estimated savings of $11.3 billion a year nationally, according to the report. In Missouri it's estimated that commercial building owners and occupants could realize an average annual electricity savings of $109 million in 2030, and another $112 million in natural gas savings.

Nick Magrisso, Midwest state legislative director with the Natural Resources Defense Council, said coal is a thing of the past.

"The market is accelerating for clean energy, the cost of solar has dropped significantly,” Magrisso said. "Energy efficiency is still the cheapest resource our utilities can invest in to not only cut carbon pollution but to help lower their electric bills "

According to John Hickey, chapter director of the Sierra Club-Missouri, businesses are already starting to invest in clean energy and it's paying off

"In Missouri, we've seen great investment by hospitals to make those facilities more energy efficient. Which is great,” Hickey said, "because we're all being impacted by the increase in cost of health care, and by bringing down the utility bills in hospitals, that's more money to spend on health care, or that's a lower bill for the patient. "

The Clean Power Plan is on hold while it is challenged in the U.S. Supreme Court by 24 states, including Missouri. Opponents argue that the EPA overstepped its authority by requiring a one-third cut in carbon emissions by 2030.

Veronica Carter, Public News Service - MO