Looks like Missouri's Governor Matt Blunt needs someone to show him how to make renewable energy a positive economic development force, because he was the only Midwest Governor who did not sign any part of the Midwestern Governors Association's energy pact. The pact, distributed at the 12-state association's energy summit last month, included shared greenhouse gas reduction and renewable energy goals (member state boundaries pictured on US map).
The US State of Utah gets 93% of its' electricity from coal and has an awful mercury contamination problem with fish and wild life, and yet it has a renewable energy focus in its economic development planning.
On Wednesday, after having reviewed the pact, he said that he would sign certain components, such as helping establish a regional fuels corridor and joining a discussion of new bio-energy projects. But he refused to sign the main parts of the pact that included specific goals such as producing 30 percent of electricity from renewable sources by 2030 and requiring coal-fired power plants to capture and store emissions by 2020.
[Utah's] Governor Huntsman developed a 10-point plan for economic development. Within this plan, the Governor identified renewable energy as a key component in growing Utah's economy.
Like Utah, Missouri is substantially more reliant on coal than other US states (the US average is in the mid-50% range). So what's up with Missouri? Hard to imagine. Look below for a chart of Missouri's greenhouse gas emission trends.
Although Blunt said the state gets 70 percent of its electricity from coal plants, the report [by WRI, "Charting The Midwest"] placed that number at 85 percent. Missouri also had the highest overall increase in greenhouse gas emissions, 26 percent, from 1990 to 2003. The main contributor to this trend, the report said, was electricity generation, which grew 54 percent. The increase occurred despite slowing rate of population growth.