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      Mayorâ??s energy awards help meet EPA standards

      Dignitaries cut a carbon ribbon to kick off the project.

      Columbia Mayor Bob McDavid is encouraging businesses and organizations to be more energy efficient.

      The Mayor kicked off his Climate Protection Agreement Award Program.

      Dignitaries cut a carbon ribbon to kick off the project. Applicants have until the end of the year to apply for the awards for their use of green energy. Mayor McDavid will announce the winners of his energy awards in April. Luckyâ??s Market owner Bo Sharon said his employees help reduce carbon emissions.

      Sharon said, â??Our carbon footprint has decreased in such ways as composting and sourcing locally. Those are our greatest efforts day to day.â??

      The awards come as the Environmental Protection Agency proposes new rules to cut back on carbon dioxide emissions. The proposal allows each state to decide limits on emission standards by the year 2020. Columbia energy customers are using solar and wind power. The cityâ??s power plant gets help from nearby solar panels and windmills.

      The Missouri Department of Natural Resources is in charge of developing the standards for Missouri. Columbia power plant administrators said they should not have any problems complying with any proposed EPA rulings.

      Columbia Water & Light Power Production Superintendent Christian Johanningmeier said, â??Some of the things that the EPA is recommending for states are things that Water & Light have been doing for quite some time. For example, we are increasing the amount of renewable energy in our energy portfolio.â??

      DNR administrators are working with Governor Jay Nixonâ??s office and the Missouri Public Service Commission as they develop new carbon dioxide emission standards for Missouri utilities and energy producers.