City Council candidates weigh in on Columbia's energy needs

Saturday, March 28, 2009 | 6:35 p.m. CDT; updated 11:26 a.m. CDT, Monday, March 30, 2009

COLUMBIA – Three out of four City Council candidates say they support the building of a second nuclear power plant to help answer Columbia’s future energy needs.

In October, Mayor Darwin Hindman sent a letter to AmerenUE President and CEO Thomas Voss expressing his personal interest in a second nuclear plant that is proposed to be built in Callaway County. He later reaffirmed his stance, stating that he thought nuclear power to be a better future alternative to Columbia's municipal power plant.

Although nuclear power was not considered in the city's Integrated Resource Plan, a consultant-created document laying out options to fulfill Columbia's future energy needs, it has surfaced as an option since Hindman wrote his letter.

"I'd love to see you be able to count on a certain amount of power from there (the second plant)," Second Ward candidate Jason Thornhill said.

Second Ward candidate Allan Sharrock and Sixth Ward candidate Rod Robison both said they support Columbia’s involvement in the proposed Callaway plant, though Robison’s support was contingent upon the city receiving an amount of energy from the plant.

Sixth Ward incumbent Barbara Hoppe doesn’t share the same interest in the proposed plant the other candidates do.

“We'd have to look at the cost and benefit,” Hoppe said. “There's a lot of questions as to the cost.”

Hoppe said she would rather see the city practice more intensive demand side practices as outlined in the Integrated Resource Plan, such as promoting energy-efficient appliances and focusing on weatherizing homes and buildings to cut use.

“There are tons of possibilities there,” Hoppe said. “…It also reduces energy bills for tenants and homeowners.”

Thornhill, Sharrock and Robison all said they would also like to make Columbia a more efficient city. Sharrock, who said he personally keeps his thermostat low in the winter and plans on buying a more efficient flash-heating water heater once his current one fails, said it's necessary for citizens to make their homes more efficient.

Missourian reporter Andrew Van Dam contributed to this report.

Like what you see here? Become a member.

Show Me the Errors (What's this?)

Report corrections or additions here. Leave comments below here.

You must be logged in to participate in the Show Me the Errors contest.


Leave a comment

Speak up and join the conversation! Make sure to follow the guidelines outlined below and register with our site. You must be logged in to comment. (Our full comment policy is here.)

  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Don't use language that makes personal attacks on fellow commenters or discriminates based on race, religion, gender or ethnicity.
  • Use your real first and last name when registering on the website. It will be published with every comment. (Read why we ask for that here.)
  • Don’t solicit or promote businesses.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report comment" link.

You must be logged in to comment.

Forget your password?

Don't have an account? Register here.