To the editor:

There’s another reason voters have to pass Proposition C, the Missouri Clean Energy Initiative (requiring utilities to get more power from wind and solar): more manufacturing jobs.

Wind companies from the United States and around the world are rapidly opening new plants to make wind blades, towers and turbines in the United States. According to the National Renewable Energy Lab, 15 new U.S. facilities opened or were announced in 2007. A blade manufacturer just created 500 jobs in Newton, Iowa – the same town that saw its Maytag plant close two years ago.

Missouri needs to get its share of these jobs, and passing the Clean Energy Initiative will help. We have a well-trained workforce and locations close to excellent wind corridors. What we don’t have is the public commitment to renewable energy like other states. When choosing sites for new plants, companies look for states that have enacted Renewable Energy Standards like the ones we will vote on in November. Gradually increasing the amount of renewable energy that our utilities must use ensures markets for clean energy products and the opportunities for our workers to build them.