Missouri Energy Development Association Press Release

In Association News On

JEFFERSON CITY, MO., March 1, 2012 – The Missouri Energy Development Association (MEDA) applauds a formal complaint filed by a Missouri citizen this week with the Missouri Ethics Commission (MEC). The complaint challenges the take-over of Renew Missouri by the Berkeley, California-based Earth Island Institute Inc. (EII), a nonprofit entity which is using Renew Missouri’s name to conduct a political campaign in Missouri.
 
Complete news release below.

FROM: Missouri Press Flash News! Service
TO: News Desk

March 1, 2012

Note: This Flash News! item is being distributed by Missouri Press Service. MPS is not the source of the news. If you need further information or verification, contact the person listed in the news release, do not "reply" to this message.

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MEDA
MISSOURI ENERGY DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION

PRESS RELEASE

Contact:
Trey Davis
President
(573) 634-8678 Office
(573) 424-1587 Cell
trey@missourienergy.org

MEDA FIGHTS TO PROTECT MISSOURI FAMILIES AND SMALL BUSINESSES

Encourages investigation into campaign finance relationship between Berkeley, California-Based Earth Island Institute Inc. and Renew Missouri

JEFFERSON CITY, MO., March 1, 2012 – The Missouri Energy Development Association (MEDA) applauds a formal complaint filed by a Missouri citizen this week with the Missouri Ethics Commission (MEC). The complaint challenges the take-over of Renew Missouri by the Berkeley, California-based Earth Island Institute Inc. (EII), a nonprofit entity which is using Renew Missouri’s name to conduct a political campaign in Missouri.

The complaint charges EII with multiple campaign finance violations relating to their sponsorship of Initiative Petitions 2012-105 and 2012-129, which propose a new and egregious renewable energy mandate for Missouri energy providers that will have a detrimental impact on families, seniors, and small businesses.

"Thanks to the take-over by EII, Renew Missouri no longer exists. Instead, California-based EII has operated with the resources of a large, tax-exempt organization – and in the process, managed to evade the Missouri campaign finance guidelines other non-profits of this capacity strictly adhere to," said Trey Davis, President of MEDA. "It is out of respect for Missouri’s campaign finance laws and the best interest of Missourians that the MEC investigate EII’s decision to engage in Missouri campaign activity by using ‘Renew Missouri’ as a fictitious name."

In 2008, a majority of Missourians supported and passed Proposition C, a measure that mandates more electricity from renewable sources. The mandate would not increase customer rates by more than one percent to comply with the mandate. MEDA and its members have worked hard in the subsequent rulemaking process, the legislature, and the courts to protect Missouri customers against any excessive rate increases.

However, California-based EII’s new initiative petitions will result in dramatic rate increases for residential and small business customers. In fact, some Missouri businesses would see rates increase 140 percent and see a 13,000 percent difference in their costs of renewables versus what they voted for in 2008 as a result of California-based EII’s initiative petitions. This difference would not be a positive one for Missourians.

That is why MEDA supports Senate Bill 759, sponsored by Sen. Brad Lager (Chair of the Senate Commerce, Consumer Protection, Energy and the Environment Committee) and House Bill 1487, sponsored by Rep. Darrell Pollock (Chair of the House Utilities Committee) – legislation that clearly implements Proposition C while protecting customers against unnecessary rate increases.

The complaint against California-based EII states that through a "host of activities" undertaken through the "Renew Missouri" project, EII has effectively operated as the sponsor of these energy initiatives – without registering as a political action or campaign committee, or disclosing any out-of-state expenditures or contributions.

Such activities include distributing Renew Missouri-branded materials without legally-required EII disclaimer language, soliciting donations, and advocating in support of the initiatives, among other questionable activities.

Renew Missouri is registered as a "Fictitious Active" name with the Missouri Secretary of State, with EII listed as the legal owner. A Columbia, Missouri address is listed alongside EII.

MEDA once again applauds this complaint and urges the MEC to take swift action to protect Missouri’s families, seniors, and small businesses.

# # #

About MEDA: MEDA’s primary members are investor-owned electric, gas, and water utility companies in the State of Missouri. The purpose of MEDA is to develop, organize, and promote measures that will advance the ability of investor-owned utilities to BUILD, MAINTAIN, PROTECT, and PROVIDE the utility infrastructure and services that are critical to the economic well-being of all Missourians.

Missouri Energy Development Association • 326 East Capitol Avenue • Jefferson City, MO 65101 • 573-634-8678 • www.missourienergy.org

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