Missouri’s legislative session ended last month, and while there were many takeaways from this session, one thing is clear—debate over state implementation of carbon emissions standards isn’t going anywhere soon. Some claim that the EPA’s standards to reduce carbon pollution from power plants will hurt small businesses and middle-class Missourians. But what do small businesses really think about this issue?
To find out, Small Business Majority polled a random sample of small business owners across the country and found more than half support the EPA regulating carbon emissions from existing power plants that cause climate change, and 76 percent are in favor of requiring new power plants to reduce carbon pollution.
Additionally, Small Business Majority’s assessment of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan on small businesses found the proposal is an essential step toward addressing the threat of climate change while bolstering small businesses and unleashing new economic opportunities. It found the Clean Power Plan will help small businesses looking for market opportunities in the clean energy economy through demand- and supply-side job opportunities in construction, manufacturing and energy efficiency just to name a few.
Some have argued that Missouri will struggle to meet EPA’s guidelines for the state under the Clean Power Plan, but research shows Missouri is in fact well prepared to implement EPA’s standards.
Unfortunately, state lawmakers passed legislation last month that could undo the progress Missouri has made by adding numerous new reporting requirements to the implementation process. These additional requirements could be a setback to implementing these standards on time in Missouri, which would be bad for small businesses looking for clear guidance in order to plan for the future.
Entrepreneurs believe allowing the EPA to regulate harmful carbon emissions could help stabilize the market and set clear goals for Missouri’s future in the clean energy economy. Small businesses—the majority of which are unaffected by the standards themselves—will benefit as they supply the services and products to help those who do have to meet them. Entrepreneurs could confidently innovate and create jobs knowing that the future would hold long-term financial returns resulting from the new standards. Our poll numbers prove that small employers are committed to this type of future: 87 percent of small business owners said that improving innovation and energy efficiency are good ways to increase prosperity for small businesses.
Missouri’s timely compliance with the Clean Power Plan will help small business owners stay on track and facilitate new business opportunities, and enable us to push our state’s economy to new heights of prosperity. Instead of working to undermine EPA’s standards, policymakers should take note of small business support and move forward with creating an implementation plan now.