JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Senate Commerce Committee heard a personal plea for lawmakers to delay state implementation of the federal plan to cut power plant emissions of carbon.
"I'm a mom of three and ever increasing energy expenses are going to hurt families like mine." Rachel Peyton from Americans for Prosperity said when speaking in support of the bill at the committee hearing Tuesday, Feb. 16.
The bill, sponsored by Sen. Gary Romine, R-Farmington, would require the Natural Resources Department to delay for two years submitting a carbon-reduction plan for the state to the federal Environmental Protection Agency.
The EPA has adopted a rule requiring states to present plans for reducing carbon emissions from power plants, although the U.S. Supreme Court halted implementation of that plan in an order issued Feb. 9.
Romine said his bill would suspend the activities of the Department of Natural Resources from going into action before the courts have made their decision.
Heather Navarro, the Executive Director of the Missouri Coalition for the Environment, testified in opposition of the bill, saying that "slowing down this process does not serve the people of Missouri." Navarro said she is an "energy-efficiency proponent" and said that if Missouri doesn't get it done on time the federal government will "get it done for us."
Ewell Lawson from the Missouri Association of Municipal Utilities spoke in support of the bill, but when Sen. Ed Emery, R- Lamar, asked him if he had actually "seen the catastrophic impact of climate change" Lawson responded by saying he was "not here to discuss science."
Several witnesses speaking in favor of the bill presented the idea that by not allowing an extension, Missouri would be spending money and resources that could be spent in more economically-sound ways. "If more of the paycheck is going towards energy, just to keep the lights on, that's money that is not going into the Missouri economy." Peyton said.
Sen. Wayne Wallingford, R- Cape Girardeau, added that "a lot of people can't afford energy at today's prices."