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Capitol Briefs: House perfects nuclear energy construction bill

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A bill seeking to encourage nuclear power generation in Missouri is moving forward in the House after its perfection Tuesday. 

HB 261, sponsored by Rep. John Black, would create the Missouri Nuclear Clean Power Act. Under the bill, clean energy plants or facilities generating 200 or more megawatts using renewable resources would be able to charge for construction costs before beginning operation. Black said the bill would bolster the state’s renewable energy output. 

“This would help move Missouri into the 21st century with regard to energy policy,” Black said. “This would help ensure a viable source of electricity, vital to our homes and businesses in the state of Missouri. … We only have to review the conditions in the nation to understand the necessity for fuel to sustain our society, specifically nuclear power.” 

  • Rep. Tracy McCreery decried the bill on the floor, saying it wasn’t backed by Missouri’s investor-owned utilities and proposed the matter be left up to the free market. 
  • The bill passed out of committee last month with several groups — including the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives (AMEC) and the Missouri Farm Bureau — testifying in favor while groups including Renew Missouri and the Consumers Council of Missouri opposed it. 
  • According to Black, Missouri and New Hampshire are the only states without these policies on the books.