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Missourians Plead for Clean Power Plan

Missouri has seen the benefits of jobs created in the renewable energy sector. (
Missouri has seen the benefits of jobs created in the renewable energy sector. (
March 27, 2017

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A group from Missouri that included business owners and leaders in the environmental and clean energy sectors has just returned from a trip to Washington to meet with Sens. Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt of Missouri to talk about the ramifications of cuts to environmental programs the Trump administration has proposed making.

Heidi Schoen, assistant director of business development at StraightUp Solar, says gutting the Clean Power Plan could set the renewable industry back in Missouri. She says Missourians are embracing clean energy such as solar.

"Solar in general in Missouri is hope,” she states. “We are having a positive impact with lots of jobs on the economy. There's just a lot of interest here. We get calls daily from people and we're really busy in Missouri."

Nearly 53,000 people are employed in the Show Me State's clean energy sector, and a report last year said Missouri had the fastest growing employment rate for jobs in wind and solar in the U.S.

Jeff Whitten with Trout Unlimited also was part of the delegation to Washington. He says not only is solar better for the environment than coal, the price of solar has come down so people are starting to incorporate it into their everyday lives.

"You just drive around town, you go to your store and you see that all things are becoming much more economical and effective," he points out.

Missouri has more than 200 sunny days per year, which means an average of 4.5 to 5 kilowatt hours are produced per square meter per day, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Proponents say installation of solar panels can produce benefits ranging from lower energy costs to fewer negative impacts on the environment.

Veronica Carter, Public News Service - MO