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House supports state emission standards

What entity is better to determine clean air standards in Missouri? The Washington D.C.-based Environmental Protection Agency, or the Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ Air Conservation Commission?

This week, the Missouri House of Representatives sided with the Air Conservation Commission. With the passage of House Bill 1631, sponsored by Rep. Todd Richardson (R-Poplar Bluff), the legislature backed the concept of the commission developing emission standards through a unit-by-unit analysis of each existing source of carbon dioxide within the state.

The bill gives the Commission the power to develop emission standards that are less stringent than federal emission guidelines or with longer compliance schedules than those required by federal guidelines.

The legislation is a clear shot aimed back at Washington D.C. in the War on Coal being waged on coal-fired power generating plants by President Obama’s EPA. With unattainable emission standards already slapped on new construction, the EPA is on the verge of drafting standards that are likely to hamstring all current generating plants, driving up the cost of energy in coal using states, such as Missouri where 82% of the state’s power is generated by coal.

“Clearly there’s a lot of appetite for us to do as a state something to protect our energy consumers, both residential and industrial,” said Rep. Richardson. “This bill gives the state of Missouri control, flexibility, but does so in a way that directs the Department of Natural Resources to do so in a way that limits the increases in costs of electricity.”

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