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April - June 2009
will Missouri’s Energy Future look like?
And thanks to Sierra Club’s 2007 agreement with Kansas City Power and Light (KCPL), they are now the most progressive utility in the state with the deployment of wind investments and by reducing energy demand with the development of energy efficiency programs. KCPL has also championed climate change initiatives in the Kansas City region. Read more...
Change Won’t Wait for the Economy
Senator Claire McCaskill urged president-elect Barack Obama to hold off on moving a climate change bill through Congress.
“I think a delay may be necessary,” she told ABC News on December 9. “Yes, we’ve got to do something. Yes, we have to move forward. But we can’t kill the business climate at the same time. I’m from a state where most of the people who turn on the lights in the state get it from utility companies that depend on coal. And the cost of switching all that to clean coal technology or to alternative sources is going to be borne by them.” Read more...
Club Supports Energy Efficiency Bill
Electric utilities can help their customers use less energy, but they won’t unless it pays for them to do so. We don’t want utilities building new fossil fuel or nuclear power plants, but we’re happy to make it profitable for them to do the right thing.
Kansas City Power and Light (KCPL) got legislative sponsorship for a bill, SB 376 and its House counterpart HB 882, that would make energy efficiency (EE) more financially attractive to them than building new plants. Read more...
Markets—Buying and Selling the Right to Pollute
Carbon pollution markets, where governments give companies the right to pollute and allow them to buy and sell such rights (a “cap and trade” system), are being widely adopted as one of the largest—and most controversial—tools for limiting global climate change.
In the basic “cap-and-trade” system, the government annually grants to each business a certain number of pollution allowances, each worth one metric ton of carbon dioxide. The allowances are handed out free of charge. The number of allowances is capped for the entire trading system, and decreases each year. Read more...
Energy Initiative Wins
Animal Feeding Taints Water and Air
Leader at MO DNR
Potential Impact of Climate Change on Missouri Biodiversity
In the prior issue of Missouri Sierran Alan reported from a recent meeting of the Missouri Society for Conservation Biology’s conference presentations regarding climate change in Missouri. In that article researchers contemplated how increased temperatures may cause changes in the range of suitable habitat for birds in the state. Part 2 describes impacts on insects, reptiles, and amphibians.
As a perfect follow-up to potential bird consequences, John Landosky then reviewed the possible impacts of climate change on insects, noting that in addition to the temperature effects, it was necessary to consider the direct consequences of increased CO2 concentration. Read more...
joins MCEA coalition
The Chapter has been partnered with MCEA since its inception, but now we will be joining in their lobbying effort as well. The coalition has two strong environmental lobbyists, Kyna Iman, who has been lobbying for the coalition for the last two years and Jim Farrell, who is new to the group. Read more...
Agenda: Making More from Less
With the passage of Proposition C renewable energy is now law in Missouri. Next up is energy efficiency. The legislature took a few steps in this direction in 2008, like enacting Energy Star appliance efficiency standards. It’s time to think bigger.
We’d like to see statewide codes for energy efficiency in buildings. We’d like to see support for combined heat and power (CHP), which uses otherwise wasted heat from electricity generation and industrial processes to heat and cool buildings or generate more electricity. Read more...
by Eileen McManus
Between 1976 and 1984 Congress passed four separate bills designating seven wilderness areas in the Mark Twain National Forest in Missouri: Hercules Glades, Bell Mountain, Rockpile Mountain, Devil’s Backbone, Piney Creek, Paddy Creek and the Irish Wilderness.
efforts on behalf of these areas were coordinated through the Missouri
Wilderness Coalition, or MWC, which included all the major conservation
organizations in the state. At that time MWC also identified seven additional
areas which were designated for administrative protections as “Sensitive
Areas”: Lower Rock Creek, Big Spring, North Fork, Smith Creek, Spring
Creek, Swan Creek, and Van East Mountain.
(editor’s note: I asked Eileen to describe her background in the Sierra Club and how she became inspired to work on Wilderness in MO. This is her response.)
I joined the Sierra Club after a visit to Yosemite in 1989. I was 32 years old and had not done much hiking and had never backpacked. After several easy hikes through the valley and to waterfalls, I was hooked. I went to the park bookstore and joined the Sierra Club. Back home in Kansas City, I went to my local Sierra Club group meetings and became involved in the campaign for curbside recycling. Read more...
Those who follow the lead issue were overjoyed earlier this year when the EPA revisited the National Ambient Air Quality (NAAQS) rule for lead for the first time in 30 years. The EPA had to respond to a lawsuit brought forward by Leslie and Jack Warden of Herculaneum and the Missouri Coalition for the Environment. The Clean Air Act says that such rules need to be revisited every five years. The lead industry and its toadies in government succeeded in delaying that for 30 years! Read more...
Six Degrees is the best, and the most sobering book I have yet to read on global warming. Mark Lynas, the author, is a British journalist, as well as an envi¬ronmental activist, who reviewed thousands of studies on the issue, using hundreds of them as sources for his book.
Mr. Lynas structures his book with each chapter devoted to the effects of an increase of one degree Celsius. Mr. Lynas bases his book on the United Nations IPCC temperature ranges for various scenarios, from 1.4 degrees- to 5.8 degrees Celsius (2.6-10.4 degrees Farenheit). Read more...