House Concurrent Resolution No. 38





            WHEREAS, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is overstepping its jurisdictional boundaries regarding the regulation of water quality and the use of coal and wood as energy sources in Missouri; and

            WHEREAS, the EPA refuses to allow the practice of blending as related to municipal waste water treatment plants in 55 of Missouri’s municipalities, which is estimated to cost our state $650 to $700 million dollars; and

            WHEREAS, on August 22, 2013, the EPA finalized water quality criteria for ammonia as a result of toxicity studies of mussels; and

            WHEREAS, only 2 of the 69 species of mussels in Missouri would be affected by the new criteria, yet the EPA forces the extreme ammonia standards on the state anyway; and

            WHEREAS, nearly all discharging domestic waste water treatment facilities as well as certain industrial and storm water dischargers with ammonia in their effluent cannot meet the new ammonia standards with current, reasonably priced technology; and

            WHEREAS, the estimated cost to Missourians to comply with the new ammonia standards is $1 billion dollars; and

            WHEREAS, a reliable, affordable energy supply is vital to the nation’s future economic growth, security, and quality of life; and

            WHEREAS, domestically produced coal has been and continues to be used as a fuel to produce over 80 percent of the electricity generated by the state’s investor-owned electric utilities, municipally owned utilities, and rural electric cooperatives; and

            WHEREAS, the state’s heavy reliance on coal as a fuel source for Missouri’s base-load electric generation is due primarily to coal being abundant, available, reliable, and comparatively much less expensive than virtually all other available fuels; and

            WHEREAS, the EPA has issued proposed rules and regulations for new fossil fuel-fired power plants and is expected to issue its proposed rules and regulations for existing fossil fuel-fired power plants by June 1, 2014, with implementation by June 2015; and

            WHEREAS, the EPA’s proposed regulations for new power plants would require all new coal-fired power plants to utilize carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology, otherwise known as “sequestration”, to capture and store carbon dioxide underground in order to meet the EPA’s new stringent emission limits, even though such sequestration technology is not yet economical or even widely commercially available; and

            WHEREAS, stricter emission standards imposed by the EPA on Missouri’s coal-fired electric power plants will translate into higher electric costs that necessarily must be paid for by all Missouri consumers, either directly in higher electric rates or indirectly through higher costs for other goods and services; and

            WHEREAS, the recent spike in propane gas prices should remind us that we need to safeguard our readily available and cost-effective resources; and

            WHEREAS, the use of other forms of renewable energy should be encouraged, but not demanded and not by eliminating proven, time-tested resources; and

            WHEREAS, the EPA is also proposing new source performance standards for residential wood heaters by reducing maximum fine particulate emissions from 15 micrograms per cubic meter of air to 12 micrograms per cubic meter of air; and

            WHEREAS, the proposed new source performance standards would apply to new wood stoves and other wood heaters, requiring manufacturers, many of which are small businesses, to implement costly changes to their manufacturing process and products; and

            WHEREAS, most wood stoves and other wood heaters are sold for use in rural, cold climate areas where wood is readily available and the consumption of wood for residential purposes is highest in the Midwest; and

            WHEREAS, over 97,000 homes in Missouri used wood as their home heating fuel in 2012; and

            WHEREAS, wood is the most accessible and affordable renewable energy resource for home heating; and

            WHEREAS, the net carbon dioxide emissions from wood are far below those of all other fuels; and

            WHEREAS, wood heating strengthens local economies, including providing jobs and incomes, since wood can be purchased locally and the money stays in the community versus purchasing natural gas or petroleum fuels from outside the community; and

            WHEREAS, the cost of a new wood stove or other wood heater, which would meet the EPA’s proposed new source performance standards, would be cost-prohibitive for many rural Missourians who rely on wood stoves as their residential heating source; and

            WHEREAS, each state has different resources and needs and should be permitted the maximum flexibility and discretion in implementing policies and regulations regarding its natural resources:

            NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the members of the House of Representatives of the Ninety-seventh General Assembly, Second Regular Session, the Senate concurring therein, hereby urge the United States Congress to decrease the EPA’s authority to regulate water quality and the use of coal and wood as energy sources; and

            BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Chief Clerk of the Missouri House of Representatives be instructed to prepare a properly inscribed copy of this resolution for the Majority and Minority Leaders of the United States Senate and House of Representatives, the Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, and each member of the Missouri Congressional delegation.