Brad Johnson at Think Progress has a good post regarding Claire McCaskill’s tweet on the climate bill that I mentioned yesterday. While McCaskill claimed that cap and trade needed more work to defend Missouri families and businesses from extra costs imposed on coal dependent states, Brad points out that courtesy of congressmen in coal-dependent districts, like Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA), the House bill already includes billions to make sure coal is protected for decades. I wonder what changes McCaskill would like to make to the bill in order to make ACES even more friendly to Big Coal.
Missouri currently gets a lot of of its electricity from coal-fired power plants (85%), but we get practically none of that coal from our own state. Over 90% of our coal is transported via rail from Wyoming. It’s not like tons of jobs in Missouri depend on coal mining. And it’s not like electricity is magically getting cheaper with coal – the PSC has approved rate hikes for Ameren in 2007 and again in 2008, for example.
According to a study from the NRDC, when you take in to account the incentives and resources provided for energy efficiency (which the CBO largely did not), in 2020 even coal dependent states like Missouri will have a lower average electric bill ($6.32 less per month per household) and lower transportation costs ($13.93 per month per household) than if we had done nothing but continue with the status quo of relying on coal.
So instead of relying on the status quo, why not invest in making sure that Missourians have the job-generating clean energy economy that we voted for in overwhelming numbers over the entire state last November?