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Cap-and-trade dominates electricity summit

By Marshall Griffin, KWMU

Jefferson City, MO – A conference today to explore the state of electricity in Missouri turned into a debate over the federal cap-and-trade bill in Washington.

One of the conference speakers, Dylan Sullivan of the Natural Resources Defense Council, told the audience that passing cap-and-trade would most likely result in lower electric bills for Missouri residents.

"The bill increase that results from the carbon price is lowered by the implementation of complimentary policies...and so we estimate that the average electricity bill decrease in Missouri from 2010 to 2020 is $6.32 cents," Sullivan said.

But Missouri Public Service Commission member Jeff Davis challenged Sullivan's statement.

"If you're going to come here and make a presentation and say that Markey-Waxman (the cap-and-trade bill passed by the U.S. House), and all these things combined, can actually lower our rates, then I think you need to spell that out in writing exactly how that can be done, and not just talk in platitudes," Davis said.

Sullivan conceded that the cap-and-trade bill could result in higher power bills for Missouri residents.

But he also re-emphasized that there would be access to energy efficiency offsets that would at least make up the difference, and at the most save Missourians money.