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Missouri Sierran Online


April - June 2009

What will Missouri’s Energy Future look like?
By Melissa K. Hope, Sierra Club’s Associate Regional Representative in MO.
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Moving Beyond Coal
Over the last few years Missouri Sierra Club’s coordination with the National Coal Campaign has been instrumental in moving Missouri beyond coal and toward a tran¬sition to a clean energy future. In April 2008 Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc. abandoned plans for a newly permitted coal plant in Norborne, Missouri.

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...

Climate Change Won’t Wait for the Economy
by Henry Robertson
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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...

Sierra Club Supports Energy Efficiency Bill
by Henry Robertson

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...

Carbon Markets—Buying and Selling the Right to Pollute
By Robert Freehling, Energy and Climate Committee, Sierra Club California

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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...

Clean Energy Initiative Wins
It’s old news by now, but it feels so good to say it. On November 4 Proposition C, the renewable energy initiative, passed with a whopping 66% of the vote. The state leg¬islature wouldn’t act so the voters did. Missouri’s investor-owned utilities must make 2% of their electricity sales come from renewable energy sources by 2011 and 15% by 2021. 

Confined Animal Feeding Taints Water and Air
In November, 90,000 gallons of hog manure contaminated a neighbor’s land and a stream near Quincy, Illinois when an underground sewer line at a 6,000 hog-raising facility became dislodged -- a vivid reminder that the technology of Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) does not guarantee safety, and that too many of the costs of large-scale confined animal feeding are not borne by CAFOs but are imposed on the community and the environment.

New Leader at MO DNR
Missouri’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has a new director, Mark N. Templeton, who was appointed by Governor Nixon. Mr. Templeton is a Missouri native, with a diverse work history. He has worked as office director of the Human Rights Documentation Center in Bangkok, Thailand and as a research associate in New Delhi, India. Prior to his return to Missouri he was associate dean at Yale Law School.

The Potential Impact of Climate Change on Missouri Biodiversity
By Alan Journet – part 2

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...

2009 Legislative Agenda
By Byron Combs, MO Chapter Legislative Chair

Chapter joins MCEA coalition
The Missouri Chapter of the Sierra Club is joining a coalition of environmental groups for lobbying in 2009. The Missouri Conservation and Environmental Alliance (MCEA) was formed two years ago to create a coalition of environmental groups for lobbying Missouri legislators on issues such as clean air and water, renewable energy and green building.

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...

Legislative Agenda: Making More from Less
By Henry Robertson

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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...

Missouri Wilderness Campaign Update

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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.

Wilderness conservation 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. Read more...

Growing a Wilderness Activist
by Eileen McManus

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(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...

Bushwhacked… again!
By Tom Kruzen

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
by Mark Lynas
Reviewed by Dave Mitchell

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...


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