An initiative that would prohibit tax incentives for any company that engages in “unsustainable” energy production, or that does $1 million a year in business with such a company, will be on the ballot for the April 8 election in St. Louis. Supporters plan to launch a public campaign on the issue in the coming weeks.
Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment, or MORE, has led the effort. The main target of the bill is Peabody Energy, the downtown-based coal giant that has been the subject of MORE protests in recent years. Peabody received city tax breaks when it expanded its headquarters in 2011, money MORE argues would be better spent helping small business and reviving poorer city neighborhoods.
But the measure could have big ripples, as it would also block city subsidies for any area company that does business with Peabody, including utilities, banks and law firms, and potentially advertising agencies or PR firms.