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Biden visits Jefferson City

By Marshall Griffin, KWMU

Jefferson City, MO – Jefferson City marked the second stop on Vice President Joe Biden's two-day visit to Missouri.

His first stop was at Whiteman Air Force Base, where he addressed servicemen and women from the four military branches.

After arriving in Jefferson City, Biden toured a factory that will be making transformers for a new wind farm in northwest Missouri.

He spoke before a crowd made up of factory workers and politicians, where he announced that the government will provide $4 billion to upgrade the nation's electric grid, as part of the federal stimulus plan signed by President Obama.

The Vice President told workers that they'll play a role in shaping America's economic future:

"Clean energy! Clean energy! Renewable energy...not needed to be imported...no one has to do anything except (let) the wind blow!" Biden said.

The wind farm is being developed by St. Louis-based Wind Capital Group, which is using federal stimulus money to pay for the project.

State Senator Brad Lager (R, Savannah), whose district includes the wind farm, says he's grateful for the investment, but he's also concerned the money will have strings attached.

"If there is any one piece of this whole economic stimulus puzzle that I think is the most challenging, the most frustrating, and has the greatest potential to set this country back, it's government thinking they know better than the buying patterns of consumers, and they start dictating to companies what they can and cannot do," Lager said.

Lager also expressed concern that billions of dollars are being thrown at problems with few assurances that they're being spent wisely.

Meanwhile, the Vice President will be on the campus of the University of Missouri - St. Louis Friday, where he'll talk about how to make higher education more affordable.

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