Clean Energy 4, Koch Brothers 0
The Koch brothers got more bad news over the weekend as the Missouri legislature joined the growing list of states to reject the Koch's proposal to weaken or eliminate state standards requiring the use of renewable energy sources.
Already Kansas, North Carolina, Colorado and New York have voted to keep or — in the case of Colorado — strengthen their renewable energy standards. However, there are proposals in another dozen states still being considered, so now is not the time to relax. Tell state lawmakers across the nation that Americans support clean, green energy and don't want states to cave to the wishes of the fossil fuel industry.
Working through a lobbying front group called the American Legal Exchange Council, the Koch brothers and the fossil fuel industry have proposed laws for more than a dozen states that would reverse the movement toward renewable energy.
Renewable energy standards have been passed in many to require public utilities to use a specific percentage of renewable energy sources to produce power. Most of those standards are being phased in over the next decade.
ALEC has taken two approaches to reversing this trend. In some states they are simply trying to eliminate the standard, or severely cut it back to a small percentage. In other states they've tried to have existing hydroelectric power count toward the renewable standard, which would eliminate any need for utilities to add any new solar or wind power (the whole point is to create NEW clean energy).
The best news is that once many states take a hard look at their renewable energy standards, they're actually choosing to strengthen them, instead of water them down. And inspired by the strong economic growth clean energy provides in many states, others are creating RES for the very first time. A study by Justin Barnes and Chelsea Barnes Keyes, with Fox & Wiedman LLP, includes a map of the US that illustrates what is happening in all 50 states, if anything, related to RES.
The Koch brothers and fossil fuel barons want to kill clean energy so they can maintain their stranglehold on the energy supply. And what is truly amazing about their inability to get states to do this is that the lawmakers who are rejecting them are generally proponents of the fossil fuel industry.
For these lawmakers, the main selling point for renewable energy standards is that they've created jobs. Lots of them. Which is what we've been saying all along.
We'll continue to follow this story in the other states where renewable energy standards are still being debated. Stay tuned.