Michael Berg

Mid Missouri Clean Energy Jobs Tour a Success

On Thursday, Septeber 22, thirty Sierra Club members and supporters toured the ABB factory in Jefferson City, MO, where the company makes transformers that are used in wind generators and solar collectors.

The goal of the tour was to see firsthand how renewable energy creates good, family-wage jobs locally and around Missouri. ABB employs about 650 workers at its facilities in Jefferson City, MO.

The Sierra Club organized the tour in response to Missouri General Assembly actions to curtail development of renewable energy in the state. This spring, the General Assembly overturned a Public Service Commission rule that would have required utilities like Ameren to meet its 15 percent renewable energy standard (mandated under Proposition C, passed in November 2008) by counting electricity that was either generated or consumed here in Missouri. By nullifying this rule, the General Assembly is allowing utilities to buy renewable energy credits from anywhere in the world in order to meet its renewable energy targets. When the wind generators are located in China instead of here, Missourians do not enjoy the benefits of clean energy – including both local jobs as well as cleaner air.

This ABB plant manufactured the transformers that were installed in the Lost Creek Wind Farm, located near King City, Missouri. Lost Creek is the largest wind farm in Missouri, and utilizes one hundred transformers that were made by ABB.

“Today, we were able to see, with our own eyes, the potential for renewable energy to create good jobs right here in Missouri,” said John Hickey, Missouri Chapter Director for the Sierra Club. “Now, Sierra Club members will roll up our sleeves and redouble our efforts to expand the development of wind and solar energy in Missouri.”

This was the second Missouri Sierra Club Clean Energy Jobs tour this year. The first visited the CG Power factory in Washington Missouri on Thursday, June 30.