Missouri House considers bringing renewable energy to the Capitol
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Missouri House considers bringing renewable energy to the Capitol

Date: January 25, 2012
By: Tyler Fine
State Capitol Bureau
Links: HB1076, HB1302

JEFFERSON CITY - State representatives from both sides of the aisle brought forth the possibility of bringing windmills to the Capitol building and solar power to state parks Wednesday.

Rep. Zachary Wyatt, R-Green Castle, proposed a bill in front of the House Renewable Energy committee that aims to start a program in one of Missouri's state parks. The program would test renewable energy resources, such as solar panels, to provide energy for the as yet unspecified state park. 

The committee also discussed the potential for the pilot program to generate revenue or energy credit, since state parks require a fairly low amount of energy. There was no opposition to the bill proposal, but a Missouri Parks Association representative said that although the association is in favor of the bill, there are several other state park projects that need to take priority.

Committee chairman, Rep. Jason Holsman, D-Kansas City, proposed the second bill, which aims to utilize renewable energy to the Capitol building. Holsman hopes to use river turbines, solar panels, wind mills and horizontal geothermal energy sources to generate power for the capitol. Holsman said that although the energy plan would be environmentally friendly, one of the primary purposes of the bill would be to provide the capitol building with power in case of an emergency.

Holsman said the bill includes a plan to create a fund to finance the program, and said that using renewable energy would be less costly than revamping the entire energy structure of the capitol. Exact cost estimates were not given at the hearing, but Holsman seemed hopeful about raising part of the funds through gifts and donations.

"An investment today will not only give us some of the security I'm looking for, but it will also be a good financial investment in the long run," Holsman said.

Both Holsman and Wyatt voiced their concerns over the financial capabilities of the projects, but assured the committee that the projects had serious potential to be economically beneficial in the long run. The committee did not vote on either of the bills.

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