St. Louis Public Radio News
5:24 pm
Tue February 16, 2010

Mo. Senate committee hears Cap & Trade resolution

Jefferson City, Mo. – Missouri lawmakers continue to hold hearings on resolutions opposing various federal bills in Congress. Today, a State Senate committee took up the issue of Cap and Trade.

The federal bill would cap the amount of greenhouse gases businesses can generate, while allowing them to exceed limits if they buy "carbon credits" from companies that pollute less.

The resolution opposing Cap and Trade is sponsored by State Senator Bill Stouffer (R, Napton).

"We depend on about 85 percent of our energy from coal...this is nothing more than a massive wealth transfer from the center part of this country to the east and west coasts," Stouffer told the Senate Committee on Rules, Joint Rules, Resolutions and Ethics.

Jan Weaver heads the Environmental Studies Program at the University of Missouri - Columbia. She opposes the anti-Cap and Trade measure and told committee members that Missouri can make up any lost energy capacity if the federal bill becomes law.

"With switch grass, hybrid poplar, timber thinning and crop residues, we could produce 28 percent of the state's electricity...now it's not taking care of all the coal, but we're moving the production of energy into our own state and creating new markets," Weaver said.

The committee is expected to vote on the resolution at a later date.

A similar measure is awaiting action in the Missouri House. Both would be non-binding.

The Missouri House has already passed resolutions calling on Congress to stop passing unfunded mandates and to pass a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution.