Reducing Pollution: Missouri NAACP to Release Report on Energy Policy Reformby Missouri NAACP October 4, 2017
St. Louis, MO – On Wednesday, October 11, 2017 (at 11:00 a.m., 4811 Delmar, St. Louis) the NAACP Missouri State Conference will host a press conference to release its new report, “Just Energy Policies: Reducing Pollution– Missouri Report”, which assesses energy policy in the State of Missouri through a civil rights lens. The report provides an analysis of Missouri’s energy policies based on environmental, health, and economic impacts. Through recommended reforms, the report lays a path for preserving the wellbeing of the community while creating economic enterprise opportunities, particularly for local workers and minority and women owned businesses.
“At a time when there is growing recognition that Missouri is at the nexus between examining its energy landscape and planning for climate change impacts, the NAACP is compelled to advance an equity based analysis of our energy choices and effects on community well-being, and the environment on which we all rely for our existence,” said NAACP Missouri President Rod Chapel.
With a growing understanding of the harmful impact of fossil fuel-based energy production on communities of color and low income communities, it is more important now than ever before that our communities take a stand to move our country to an energy efficient and clean energy future. Renewable resources currently contribute less than 4% of Missouri’s net electricity generation, but there is considerable renewable energy potential in the State. To meet the needs of Missourians, the State must continue to transition to clean energy that is economically and environmentally just.
Jacqui Patterson, Director of the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program said “From a national perspective, we see that Missouri is a place that is filled with both peril and promise. Communities are challenged by pollution from coal fired power plants, underground burning plumes of waste, and double digit unemployment in some places. Yet there is promise from the beauty of its rivers and the bounty of its other natural resources such as solar potential and wind capacity for energy to its powerful communities organizing for a better, more sustainable future. We are excited by the leadership of the Missouri NAACP in pushing for policies and practices that build on the state’s natural resources in generating clean energy, advancing recycling of refuse, and creating economic opportunities for those who are often disenfranchised from the economic system.”
The following assessment highlights the shortcomings and the attributes of Missouri’s status in relation to NAACP’s three focal energy policies – Renewable Portfolio Standards, Energy Efficiency and Net Metering.
Missouri has a mandatory renewable portfolio standard of 15% by 2021. The NAACP recommended standard is 25% renewable by 2025. Geothermal, Wind, Solar, and Energy Efficiency are the clean energy sources the NAACP encourages without including Biomass and Fossil Fuels like Coal, Oil and Natural Gas.
Missouri has a voluntary energy efficiency resource standard. The State’s current, voluntary standard is a 1.9% annual reduction from the previous year’s electricity sales. The NAACP recommended standard is 2%. Missouri is almost there, however, it must establish an energy efficiency standard which mandates (not recommends) at least a 2% annual reduction.
Missouri has a mandatory net metering policy requiring electric utility companies to provide retail credit for systems up to 100 kW capacity. Ideally, Missouri should expand net metering to allow systems to participate with up to, minimally, 2,000 kW capacity limits to spur customer-led renewables development statewide.
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Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. You can read more about the NAACP’s work and our six “Game Changer” issue areas by visiting NAACP.org.