Posted: May 30, 2014 6:47 PM by Eduardo Gonzalez, KOMU 8 Reporter
Updated: May 31, 2014 3:12 PM
COLUMBIA- A new report on climate change is cranking up the heat on local governments to address the issue. However, Columbia doesn't seem to be in the hot seat.
The Obama Administration could spark changes in many industries around the country; one of those industries is energy.
According to the report, energy is a popular industry in the Midwest, meaning the region is responsible for a greater sum of carbon emissions. The report states the carbon emissions coming from the region are 20 percent higher than the national average, but it also states it is possible for this to change.
One of the main culprits of the higher carbon emissions coming from the region is the weather. Hot summers and cold winters lead to people cranking up the heat or the air conditioning. The report states this demand could get even bigger with big shifts in weather patterns. Increasing efficiency seems to be a major item the administration's report wants to promote.
Columbia, however, seems to have a plan in place to do its part. The city made a commitment to reduce energy intensity 20 percent by 2020; as of May, Columbia sits less than halfway to achieving its goal, at 13 percent.
Connie Kacprowicz, a spokesperson for Water and Light, said this has been in the works as far back as the year 2000.
"We've seen a lot of different regulations being proposed over the years as far as reduce the greenhouse gas emissions, so we've been making plans for a long time as to how we can reduce that," Kacprowicz said. "Also, in Columbia, we have a renewable energy mandate and that means that we are required to have increasing amounts of renewable energy. So, increasing the renewable energy, as well as changing some things at the power plant."
The mandate was approved by Columbia residents during elections in 2004. Kacprowicz said that while Columbia is plowing ahead with "green" energy, not all forms of it are suited for the city.
"Columbia Water and Light last year had about 7 percent of our power produced through renewable energy resources. The biggest producer of that was wind energy," she said. "Wind energy makes a little more sense for us to do on the utility scale."
But, Kacprowicz said Columbia is not suited for all types of "green" energy.
"Here, in this part of Missouri, we don't really have super high wind speeds, so it's really not cost-effective to do a lot of utility-scale wind turbines or commercial wind turbines here," she said.
The main source of energy in Columbia is coal and has been for a while now.
Christian Johanningmeier, Power Production Superintendent, said the municipal power plant has been moving toward "greener" methods of production.
"We have been burning wood here since 2008 and currently makes up about 15 percent of our fuel mix," he said. Johanningmeier said this was due to the election results where Columbia residents approved the renewable energy ordinance. "One of the first things that the department did to comply with the new ordinance was to add biomass to the coal mix, here at the Municipal Power Plant."
He said they have been able to make the shift without having to make major changes to the power plant or have to bring in new equipment. Johanningmeier said this has been possible by maximizing the use of biomass.
Posted 8:06 AM 12/1/2015 by Louie Kaczmarek, KOMU 8 Reporter
JEFFERSON CITY – Pre-filing began Tuesday for the 2016 legislative session and state representatives already have a plan in mind for the new year.
Rep. Travis Fitzwater, R-Fulton said lawmakers will be focusing bills on infrastructure, ethics reform and school funding.(More)
Posted 5:44 AM 12/1/2015 by Zachary Reger, KOMU 8 Digital Producer
PHELPS COUNTY - A woman was hit and killed by a passing vehicle Monday night near I-44 in Phelps County.
Miya Goetz, 21, was a passenger in a stopped vehicle on the westbound side of the highway, according to an (More)
Adv. - more news below
Posted 4:36 AM 12/1/2015 by The Associated Press
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Monsanto Co. plans to make its operations carbon neutral by 2021.
A key component of Monsanto's plan calls for working with the thousands of farmers who use its seeds, herbicides and pesticides. The company is developing an incentives program to encourage (More)
Posted 11:05 PM 11/30/2015 by Rose Schmidt, KOMU 8 Digital Producer
BOONE COUNTY - The Boone County Sheriff's Department arrested a woman on several charges after she hit multiple vehicles, sending two people to the hospital.
The department arrested Deborah Barr, 51, from Columbia on two counts of assault, assaulting a law enforcement officer, leaving (More)
Posted 7:52 PM 11/30/2015 by Rose Schmidt, KOMU 8 Digital Producer
FULTON - The Fulton Police Department is investigating a shooting that sent one man to the hospital.
Investigators said the incident was reported at 5:07 p.m. Monday at 728 Grand Avenue.
Detective Dal Hedges said the man was taken to Fulton Medical Center initally but did not (More)
Posted 1:08 PM 11/30/2015 by Derek Brizendine, KOMU 8 Reporter
CENTRALIA - The City of Centralia hopes expanding its electrical system will help bring growth to more parts of town.
Boring for the first of three new underground electrical conduits began Monday. The conduits will run under the two rail lines in the city and widen (More)
Adv. - more news below
Posted 5:36 PM 11/30/2015 by The Associated Press and Ashton Day, KOMU 8 Digital Producer
COLUMBIA (AP) — A federal judge has temporarily blocked Missouri's health department from revoking the abortion license held by a Planned Parenthood clinic in Columbia.
The temporary restraining order issued Monday by U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey is set to (More)
Posted 4:38 PM 11/30/2015 by The Associated Press
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri higher education leaders have dropped plans for a potential 2016 ballot measure that would have raised taxes on cigarettes to fund college scholarships.
Supporters of the "Missouri Promise" initiative announced their decision (More)