Missouri voters could consider renewable energy proposal in 2018 – By Meagan Miller – News-Press Now

Here is an article from News-Press Now by Meagan Miller.  You can find the online version here.

President Trump’s “Energy Independence” executive order has some Americans worried about the future of environmental regulations on a national level. But at the state level, Missourians may be able to vote on an initiative that would create an agency known as “The Renewable Energy Project” in 2018. It’s also known as the Green New Deal.

Democratic National Committee member, Winston Apple, recently got approval to circulate the initiative as a petition. That’s one of the first steps before officially getting in front of voters. It must be signed by five percent of legal voters in six Missouri Congressional Districts. He said that should amount to about 95,000 signatures total and he’s confident it will happen.

“I’ve been working on this for two and a half years. There was a lot of interest and energy before Nov. 8 but since the election it’s multiplied,” Apple said.

Apple said The Green New Deal would put Missourians to work with energy efficiency by installing wind farms and solar farms and even just planting trees. Such projects would aim to “improve energy efficiency in homes and businesses.” According to governmentbythepeople.org, Funding for these projects would come from a tax on long-term capital gains and qualified dividends.

Apple said Trump’s executive order is disappointing but not surprising for him and other climate alarmists. But he pointed out how anger and concern voiced at protests and town halls is turning into action, using the Republican’s failed attempt to replace ObamaCare as an example.

“I think without the level of protest and anger that we’ve seen in town hall meetings that probably would have passed,” he said.

While construction of wind farms has faced opposition in some places, including Clinton and Dekalb counties, Apple said switching to renewable energy is about fighting for the continued existence of the human race. Opponents to wind farms in the area have said they are harmful to animals like birds plus they can be loud and intrusive to landowners. Recently a NextEra wind farm was constructed in Osborn, Missouri. Officials with the company said the president’s actions with the Clean Power Plan do not affect it. That wind farm is currently operational.

President Trump’s executive order could walk back President Obama’s Clean Power Plan in the future. It could overhaul current regulations and bring more jobs back in the coal industry. But Apple argues that resources like coal and oil are finite while resources like the sun and wind are not.

“We’re using desperate measures to dig them out of the ground, at some point, they run out,” he said. “Once you build the panels or turbines to capture that energy, the energy is free and it’s insane we haven’t done this already.”

Apple said people in the St. Joseph area can expect to see the Green New Deal petition circulating.

“There’s a new group called Northland Progress and there’s a couple of political groups in St. Joseph that are I think are going to be very active in our petition drive,” Apple said.

For more information on this proposed ballot initiative, visit www.governmentbythepeople.org. Apple said people can even click “Join the Campaign” to stay updated.

Meagan Miller can be reached at meagan.miller@knpn.com. Follow her on Twitter: @NPNowMiller.

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