Missouri and Other States Developing Plans to Shape Energy Future

Missouri is in the early stages of its most comprehensive energy planning effort in at least two decades, and will look more broadly at the state's energy mix, prices, and ways to use energy to create jobs.

To be sure, the Obama administration's proposed carbon rule will also command a lot of attention in the coal-dependent Show Me State and will weigh heavily in the conversation. But Missouri's energy plan, a product of executive order by Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon, will look more broadly at the state's energy mix, prices and ways to use energy to create jobs.

"It covers a lot more than electric generation," said Lewis Mills, appointed by Nixon in the spring to lead the state's energy office and the planning effort. "But electric generation is a big part of the picture."

Overall, more than three dozen states have developed energy plans or are in the process of doing so, according to the Arlington, Va.-based National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO). Missouri is among more than a dozen states developing plans or revamping existing ones to use as road maps.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) released a plan in January. New York issued a draft of its plan in January that's drawn national attention. Colorado issued a plan earlier this year. Other states including Indiana are still in the midst of developing new or revised plans.

Melissa Savage, NASEO senior program director, said more states have embraced energy plans and developed more comprehensive ones over the past decade as they respond to seismic changes in the energy industry, from the scale-up of renewables to a surge in domestic petroleum production to declining demand.

Knowing the importance of energy prices and policies to local economies, states have also stepped up in response to a lack of comprehensive federal policy, Savage said.

"Many of these states were or have been taking the lead in the absence of any federal action," she said.

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Date Posted: 10/16/2014