Group Appeals Renewable Energy Standard Circuit Court Decision
St. Louis, MO: Seven years after voter approval, the effort to fully implement Missouri's Renewable Energy Standard (RES) continued this week when the Missouri Coalition for the Environment (MCE), Missouri Solar Applications, LLC, and Thomas J. Sager appealed a Circuit Court decision denying an attempt to have the original Public Service Commission (PSC) RES rule implemented.
The Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) stripped the local sourcing provision from the PSC's original rule. Local sourcing would have required investor-owned utilities to provide renewable energy generated in Missouri, or delivered to Missouri through transmission from neighboring states, to consumers in order for it to count toward the RES. The case will now go to the Missouri Supreme Court.
“Missouri voters voted overwhelmingly for renewable energy in Missouri,” said plaintiff Tom Sager. “Missouri legislators, against the will of the voters, seek to illegally obstruct the development of renewable energy in Missouri. This obstructionism cannot be tolerated.”
JCAR’s actions currently allow investor-owned utilities to meet the RES by purchasing renewable energy credits (RECs) from far away states that do not directly benefit Missouri’s economy or environment as intended by voters.
"The PSC read the law and decided it meant that renewable energy must be generated in Missouri or at least be consumed here,” said Henry Robertson, the lead attorney with Great Rivers Environmental Law Center. “The utilities went crying to JCAR and got the legislature to undermine the will of the voters. It was not JCAR's job to undo the work of the PSC and deny Missourians the benefit of the law."