COLUMBIA — The Apollo Alliance, a coalition of labor and environmental groups with a mission to stimulate a clean energy economy, has set up operations in Missouri.
Dramatically increased funding for clean energy and green jobs from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act prompted the Apollo Alliance to choose Missouri. But
Proposition C, passed by a wide margin in 2008, also played a role in Apollo's decision to form a Missouri chapter, Joe Thomas, Apollo's state coordinator said. That ordinance requires that investor-owned utility companies procure 15 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2021.
Thomas said the Missouri chapter, which doesn't have an office but organizes efforts through Thomas, will focus heavily on wind and solar projects, but it is unclear to what extent Apollo's efforts will be felt in central and rural Missouri.
"The political reality, right now, is that there is greater support in Kansas City and St. Louis than the state at large," Thomas said. "We're in the preliminary stages right now ... we have not yet laid out a plan."
"Our goal is to create momentum for clean energy projects, implement green jobs and ensure the best spending" from the increased clean energy funds in the Recovery Act, Apollo spokesman Sam Haswell said.
The Recovery Act is heavy with "green" provisions aimed at boosting the economy through the creation of eco-friendly jobs.
The alliance held its first steering committee meeting last week in St. Louis. Representatives from United Steelworkers, the Sierra Club and
the Missouri Coalition for the Environment, among others, drafted a
letter of support for a $30 billion bill to set up a revolving loan fund to Sen. Claire
The bill, labeled the Investments for Manufacturing Progress and Clean Technology Act, or IMPACT, aims to help small and medium manufacturers finance energy efficiency-related improvements and operations.
McCaskill has not yet responded to the letter, Thomas said.