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Chamber, groups, businesses voice support for grid modernization


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Missouri Chamber of Commerce as well as more than 75 businesses and organizations voiced their support for the 21st Century Grid Modernization and Security Act.

HB2689 would institute a comprehensive state energy plan (CSEP).

“This important legislation will update our state’s energy policies, which will support additional investment to harden and modernize our state’s electric grid and strengthen it against physical and cyber threats,” wrote Dan Mehan, president of the Missouri chamber in a letter to the bill’s handler, Sen. Ryan Silvey, R-Kansas City. “This alone will elevate Missouri’s ability to attract and retain businesses, especially high-tech and state-of-the-art manufacturing. Plus these additional investments in grid modernization will create thousands of jobs in our state for years to come.”

The CSEP, Miller argues, is designed to streamline the process for the Public Service Commission (PSC), but its most important provision allows aluminum smelters and their power providers to file joint applications to the PSC to set an aluminum smelter rate.

Rep. Rocky Miller, R-Osage Beach, the bill’s sponsor, has noted that the current rate for aluminum makes it difficult for smelters to remain competitive on the world stage. The new bill would make the rate the sixth lowest global rate for aluminum smelters, excluding China.

The Missouri Farm Bureau has also expressed support for the legislation.

“Our members, who include many farmers, business owners, and community leaders, have adopted policy in support of increasing the generation and use of electricity from sources including crop-by-products, forest biomass and other agricultural residues,” wrote the bureau’s president, Blake Hurst. ‘As such, our organization supports the 21st Century Grid Modernization and Security Act that encourage further production of renewable biomass fuel.”

See the businesses and organizations supporting the bill here. Click to see a larger version.


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