JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri Supreme Court has affirmed the dismissal of the state's suit over the implementation of a renewable energy proposition that voters approved in 2008.
Without reaching a decision on whether a joint legislative panel had the authority to disapprove a "geographic sourcing" rule drafted by the Missouri Public Service Commission (PSC) pertaining to the voter-approved Proposition C, the high court held the issue to be moot because a new rule adopted in 2015 superseded the 2010 rule in question.
According to the opinion issued April 27, the state had argued that the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules' (JCAR) involvement in disapproving any or part of geographic sourcing violated the separation of powers of the state constitution.
The geographic sourcing provisions that were removed would have prevented utility companies from buying renewable energy such as wind and solar produced from outside the state.
The state sued JCAR at Cole County Circuit Court, where Judge Patricia Joyce dismissed it as moot.
In arguments before the full court, the state sought an order requiring the secretary of state to republish a 2015 rule with the geographic sourcing provisions contained in the 2010 rule, the order states.
“The PSC never published the geographic sourcing provisions at issue in this case, and they never became part of the 2010 rule,” Justice Laura Denvir Stith wrote for the court. “Moreover, while this case was pending in the trial court, the PSC issued an amended 2015 rule that did not include the geographic sourcing provisions of the 2010 rule in question here, and no challenge has been filed as to the 2015 rule.”
Stith further wrote that it was within the discretion of the PSC and the secretary of state to amend rules.
“In light of the adoption of the 2015 rule, no purpose would be served by addressing JCAR’s actions regarding a superseded prior rule,” Stith wrote.