Last chance: Tell the State Department to reject the Keystone XL Pipeline

Dear Friends,

The State Department is collecting it's final round of public comments on whether the dirty and dangerous Keystone XL Pipeline is in our national interest.

It is not. And they must reject the permit to build this pipeline.

These comments are especially important right now, because of new evidence of a shockingly cozy relationship between State Department Officials and lobbyists for the Canadian pipeline company TransCanada, and of major conflicts of interest in the pipeline review process.

The State Department may not be taking seriously it's obligation to to conduct an impartial evaluation of the impacts of this pipeline, but this decision is ultimately still up to the President.

I just submitted a public comment to send a strong message to President Obama and the State Department, and I hope you will too. Learn more and submit a comment at the link below:


Click here to see the Political Scandal on the Keystone pipeline: Canadian Tar Sand Pipeline Political CorruptionCanadian Oil, Keystone XL Pipeline, Oil Pipeline, Politics, Republicans, Tar Sands


Please 'Like' Oil Change on Facebook-Expose the Political Corruption from the Oil Industry

On Thu, Sep 29, 2011 at 5:10 PM, Steve Kretzmann, Oil Change International <info@priceofoil.org> wrote:
Oil Change International  

Dear http://stlouisrenewableenergy.blogspot.com Readers,

Do you want to keep up with Big Oil and Big Coal's dirty tricks? Want to know how citizens around the globe are confronting the political and economic dominance of the fossil fuel industry?

Then become a fan of Oil Change International's Facebook page! Every day we post news stories, action alerts and other resources that will keep you informed of what Big Oil and Coal are up to and how you can fight back.

You'll learn the latest on our efforts to get the U.S. Congress to stop giving handouts to the fossil fuel industry, hold politicians accountable for taking campaign contributions from these dirty energy industries, stop the Keystone XL pipeline and more.

Help Oil Change International reach 2,500 "likes" by Saturday, October 1!

We also need your comments and feedback on our Facebook page to help inform our campaigns.

"Like" us on Facebook today so you can stay informed and make a difference!

Thanks for your continued support.  More soon.


Stephen Kretzmann
Executive Director
Oil Change International

P.S. If you're not on Facebook, please check out our website at www.priceofoil.org

Oil Change International campaigns to expose the true costs of fossil fuels and facilitate the coming transition towards clean energy. We are dedicated to identifying and overcoming barriers to that transition.

We are a 501c3 organization and all donations are fully tax deductible.

Check out our blog at PriceOfOil.org and find out how much oil and coal money your Representatives take at DirtyEnergyMoney.com.


Vote Now! Greatest Energy Saving Videos via Facebook

image: LEARN MORE AT energystar.gov

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Become a fan on Facebook

Have you voted in the Be an ENERGY STAR Video Challenge yet? If not, what are you waiting for?! Americans from across the country sent in videos of their energy saving actions during this year's Change the World, Start with ENERGY STAR campaign. Now you get to check out their videos and vote for your favorites! This is an important job. The favorites will get to star in a nationally released video produced by the EPA! Click on the link and get ready to watch some awesome videos!

And, because of all of your support, we are giving you—our campaign fans—an extra two days, until the end of the weekend, to vote on your favorite video. It´s our way of showing our appreciation for all of your efforts to save energy and change the world with ENERGY STAR!

Don't forget to check out other cool stuff with our campaign!
Check out what fun ENERGY STAR events are happening in your area with the ENERGY STARs Across America map.

And, of course, don't forget to take the pledge! Even if you have taken it already, take it again now to include your latest energy-efficient changes! And forward this email on to your colleagues, friends, and family so they can do the same.



ENERGY STAR, a program sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and helps us all save money and fight climate change through energy-efficient products and practices. Learn more. Visit www.energystar.gov.


President Obama’s Plan-'Better Buildings Initiative'

 to Win the Future by Making American Businesses More Energy Efficient through the "Better Buildings Initiative"



President Obama's Plan to Win the Future by Making American Businesses More Energy Efficient through the "Better Buildings Initiative"
In his State of the Union, President Obama laid out his vision for winning the future by investing in innovative clean energy technologies and doubling the share of electricity from clean energy sources by 2035. Alongside that effort, the President is proposing new efforts to improve energy efficiency in commercial buildings across the country. Last year, commercial buildings consumed roughly 20 percent of all energy in the U.S. economy. Improving energy efficiency in our buildings can create jobs, save money, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and make our air cleaner. The President's Better Buildings Initiative will make commercial buildings 20 percent more energy efficient over the next decade by catalyzing private sector investment through a series of incentives to upgrade offices, stores, schools and other municipal buildings, universities, hospitals, and other commercial buildings. This initiative builds on our investments through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), and our continued commitment to passing the President's proposed "HOMESTAR" legislation to encourage American families to make energy saving upgrades in their homes.

The President's Plan for Better Buildings

The President's Budget will propose to make American businesses more energy efficient through a series of new initiatives:
• New tax incentives for building efficiency: The President is calling on Congress to redesign the current tax deduction for commercial building upgrades, transforming the current deduction to a credit that is more generous and that will encourage building owners and real estate investment trusts (REITs) to retrofit their properties. These changes could result in a ten-fold increase in commercial retrofit take up, leveraging job-creating investments.
• Achieve a 20 percent improvement in energy efficiency by 2020: Under the President's plan, by 2020, we will make commercial building space in the United States 20 percent more energy efficient through cost-effective upgrades.
• Reduce companies' and business owners' energy bills by about $40 billion per year: By making buildings more energy efficient we will save business owners money by reducing their energy bills by about $40 billion at today's prices. That money that can be put to better use hiring more workers, inventing new products, and creating shareholder value.
• Save energy by reforming outdated incentives and challenging the private sector to act: The President is calling for an aggressive reform of existing tax and other incentives for commercial building retrofits and proposing a new competitive grant program. In turn, he is asking corporate leaders to commit to making progress toward his energy goals.


• More financing opportunities for commercial retrofits: Access to financing is an important barrier to increased retrofit investment in some market segments. To address these gaps, the Small Business Administration is working to encourage existing lenders to take advantage of recently increased loan size limits to promote new energy efficiency retrofit loans for small businesses. The President's Budget will also propose a new pilot program through the Department of Energy to guarantee loans for energy efficiency upgrades at hospitals, schools and other commercial buildings.
• "Race to Green" for state and municipal governments that streamline regulations and attract private investment for retrofit projects: Much of the authority to alter codes, regulations, and performance standards relating to commercial energy efficiency lies in the jurisdiction of states and localities. The President's Budget will propose new competitive grants to states and/or local governments that streamline standards, encouraging upgrades and attracting private sector investment.
• The Better Buildings Challenge: The President is challenging CEOs and University Presidents to make their organizations leaders in saving energy, which will save them money and improve productivity. Partners will commit to a series of actions to make their facilities more efficient. They will in turn become eligible for benefits including public recognition, technical assistance, and best-practices sharing through a network of peers.
• Training the next generation of commercial building technology workers: Using existing authorities, the Administration is currently working to implement a number of reforms, including improving transparency around energy efficiency performance, launching a Building Construction Technology Extension Partnership modeled on the successful Manufacturing Extension Partnership at Commerce, and providing more workforce training in areas such as energy auditing and building operations.

Building on Progress

The Better Buildings Initiative will complement the initiatives the President has already launched for government and residential buildings, including the $20 billion in funding for building energy efficiency in ARRA:
• Through ARRA investments in programs like the Weatherization Assistance Program, Better Buildings, and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant, we will retrofit 600,000 residential homes.
• In last year's State of the Union, the President called on Congress to pass a package of incentives to encourage Americans to make their homes more energy efficient. We remain committed to the passage of the "HOMESTAR" program.
• The Penn State-led Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster is the winner of the federal Energy-Regional Innovation Cluster (E-RIC) competition. The E-RIC competition is a ground-breaking $129.7 million multi-agency grant program that delivers coordinated,
targeted grants to spark the growth of innovative, energy-efficient building systems and technologies. This effort involves extensive collaboration across agencies, including Commerce and the Small Business Administration.
• ARRA provided GSA $5.5 billion to improve the energy performance of existing buildings and to start building a new generation of energy efficient buildings.
• The President signed an Executive Order directing federal agencies to achieve zero net energy by 2030 and employ high-performance and sustainable design principles for all new construction and alterations. At least 15 percent of existing buildings need to meet these guiding principles by FY 2015.



VOTE HERE- Who is the Worst member of Congress?-

 Nominate Your Best and WORSTof Washing Here:

John Boehner and his Republican cronies have had one very clear mission this whole year: to stand in the way of Democrats and protect their millionaire bosses at all costs. All year we have had to fight tooth and nail against the Boehner agenda -- it's been tough.

Now, it's time go on the offense.

Today we're launching a nation-wide grassroots campaign to keep the Senate and take back the House in 2012. We're calling the campaign "Beat Boehner."

Help us start off strong by telling us the progressive Heroes in Congress you think we should work to defend -- and who the Villains are in Congress that we should defeat.

Find your Heroes and your Villains and cast your vote right now.

The members of Congress that get the most votes as "Heroes" will win DFA's endorsement and will be our top electoral priorities in 2012. We'll send the campaign 2,500 new grassroots donors and 500 pledged volunteer hours to help them win.

On the other hand, the members that get the most votes as "Villains" will win our "anti-endorsement." We'll run a TV ad against them in their district, and we will work to defeat them on Election Day.

Who should we help? Who should we defeat? Vote now.

Is your hero Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who led the fight to pass marriage equality in New York and is working hard to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act in Congress? Or how about Rep. Raul Grijalva who fought this year for a budget that would make corporations pay their fair share?

Who do you think is a villain? Is it Paul Ryan, who had a plan this year to destroy Medicare as we know it? Or is it Michele Bachmann, who actively campaigned to de-fund Planned Parenthood and said the organization engages in sex trafficking?

We're ready to win in 2012. We're ready to beat Boehner and all his cronies. Now all we need is your help.

Vote now for your Heroes and Villains, and tell us where to begin.

Let's win.

- Gregg

Gregg Ross, Political Campaign Manager
Democracy for America

Democracy for America relies on you and the people-power of more than one million members to fund the grassroots organizing and training that delivers progressive change on the issues that matter. Please Contribute Today and support our mission.
Paid for by Democracy for America, http://www.democracyforamerica.com/?akid=1346.1758181.x7WqJH&t=3 and not authorized by any candidate. Contributions to Democracy for America are not deductible for federal income tax purposes.



Throw the Bums Out | Truthout

Throw the Bums Out | Truthout

Throw the Bums Out

by: William B. Daniels, Truthout | News Analysis

Grover Norquist, president of a taxpayer advocacy group, Americans for Tax Reform, speaking at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

With recent polls announcing the approval rating of Congress as a whole is below 20 percent, the implication is that the voters from each district and state should throw their bums out. It is the 276 members of the Norquist faction in the House and Senate who are committed by a private pledge to Grover Norquist to kill the president's American Jobs Act that should be shown to the door first.

Killing the American Jobs Act as well as the contrived debt ceiling shakedown of this past July are part of a broad agenda of the Norquist faction to destroy the public interest legislation that has empowered the people of the United States since the 1930s. The shakedown proves that the practice of American politics has changed from deliberative democracy to factional warfare. Politics is no longer policy diplomacy in houses of legislation. Now, it is gutter fighting in which the puppets of powerful godfathers make offers that leaders cannot refuse. No matter what our district, state, region, age, race, ethnicity, religion or political creed, all people of the United States must stand together to fight this Norquist faction.

Founding father James Madison understood the evil of factions. In the "Federalist No. 10," he defined factions as "a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common ... interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens or to the.... aggregate interests of the community." Madison saw that the most common and durable source of factions is the unequal distribution of property. While the causes of factions cannot be removed by government, the task of government is to control their effects. The Budget Control Act of 2011 and their probable success in killing President Obama's jobs bill are the latest display of the failure of our government to control the destructive effects of the Norquist faction.

All members of the Norquist faction in federal, state and local government are committed to a pledge that states: "I will: ONE, oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rates for individuals and/or businesses; and TWO, oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates." The pledge requires faction members to oppose increased tax rates and reduced tax credits or deductions that would permit government to increase its revenue regardless of the crises facing the country. Implementing their pledge through debt ceiling extortion, the Norquist faction kept deficit reducing tax increases out of the Budget Control Act of 2011. They are bound to oppose the American Jobs Act of 2011 because it will require increased deficit spending and tax revenue.

The Norquist faction is committed to cut public interest spending and to block legislation to increase tax revenues that will prevent government investment to create jobs to bring us out of the Great Recession of 2008 in the way government investment brought us out of the Great Depression of the 1930s. They want to cripple the power of government to collect revenue to pay for job creating spending. They want to kill our government's ability to increase payroll tax revenues by creating jobs that will sustain Social Security and Medicare at a time when jobs are being shipped overseas and unemployment is high.

For Social Security and Medicare to work, they must run a surplus and collect more in payroll taxes than they spend in recipient benefits. Over the years, the Social Security Fund has invested its 2.5 trillion dollar surplus in interest paying government debt obligations issued by The United States Treasury. In 2010, $100 billion dollars in interest paid on those debt obligations covered a short fall in the payroll taxes that Social Security received. In 2010, Medicare suffered a greater shortfall. When the debt ceiling is not raised and shortfalls in Social Security and Medicare payroll tax receipts are not covered, Social Security and Medicare cannot pay what they owe to seniors.

Americans of all ages must recognize our common interest and our collective power at the ballot box to rid the country of the Norquist faction at all levels of government. We must start talking about how to purge it from power. We must preserve our safety nets, bring our country out of recession though government spending and increased government revenue in order to restore the constitutional republic that James Madison envisioned.

Truthful Insight in the Mis-Reported Clean Energy Jobs

What's critically important and completely ignored

The White House Blog

The Truth about Clean Energy Jobs

Ed note: This has been cross posted from energy.gov

The Washington Post's assertions today about the Department of Energy's loan programs today are both incomplete and inaccurate.

Here are the facts:  over the past two years, the Department of Energy's Loan Program has supported a robust, diverse portfolio of more than 40 projects that are investing in pioneering companies as we work to regain American leadership in the global race for clean energy jobs.  These projects include major advances for our renewable power industry including the world's largest wind farm, several of the world's largest solar generation facilities, and one of the country's first commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plants.  Collectively, the projects plan to employ more than 60,000 Americans, create tens of thousands more indirect jobs, provide clean electricity to power three million homes, and save more than 300 million gallons of gasoline a year, all while investing in American competitiveness. What matters to the men and women who have those jobs is that the investments that this Administration is making are helping to keep factories open and running. 

When the Washington Post claims that the program has created 3,500 jobs, here is what the reporters are excluding:

  • 33,000 American auto jobs saved at Ford: The Post article does acknowledge that the program enabled Ford to modernize its factories to produce more fuel efficient vehicles, which a Ford spokeswoman credits for "helping retain the 33,000 jobs by ensuring our employees can build the fuel-efficient cars people want to drive."
  • More than 7,300 construction jobs: Many of the projects funded by the program are wind and solar power plants, which create significant numbers of construction jobs but once built can be operated inexpensively without a large workforce.  But the Washington Post chose to ignore all of those jobs.  If a community built a new highway or a bridge that employed 200 workers directly during construction – and many more in the supply chain -- and that also strengthened the local economy by making it faster to transport goods, would anyone say that the project created zero jobs? 
  • Supply chain jobs: While these jobs aren't reflected in official government estimates because of the difficulty in obtaining a precisely accurate count, that doesn't mean they don't exist.  When a company spends $100 million or $200 million building a wind farm or a solar power plant, most of that economic value actually goes into the supply chain – creating huge manufacturing opportunities for the United States. 

In fact, when you look at the Washington Post's graphic, you can see that the program has already created or saved roughly 44,000 jobs.  Many of the projects it has funded are just getting going, and many of the loans won't even go out the door until the next few weeks.  Others have not ramped fully up to scale.  But we are on pace to achieve more than 60,000 direct jobs – and many more in the supply chain.

Here's a simple example:

Last year, the Department awarded a loan guarantee to build the Kahuku wind farm in Hawaii.  It employed 200 workers during construction.  Those wind turbines were built in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  The project also features a state of the art energy storage system supplied by a company in Texas.  The supply chain reached 104 U.S. businesses in 21 states.  But by the Washington Post's count, none of those jobs – not even the 200 direct construction jobs – should count.  

What's critically important and completely ignored by the Washington Post, is that the value of this program can't be measured in operating jobs alone.  The investments are helping to build a new clean energy industry here in America.  We are now on pace to double renewable energy generation from wind and solar from the time the President took office.  Yet we are still in danger of falling behind China and other nations that are competing aggressively for leadership in these technologies.  This is a race we can and will win, but only if we make these investments today. These investments will pay dividends not just in today's jobs but in entire industries and supply chains – and in cleaner air and water for our children and grandchildren. 

One of the goals of the program is to create projects that will encourage the private sector to take the financing risk on other, similar projects on its own.  If we can show, for example, that a commercial scale cellulosic biofuel plant in Iowa can succeed, the private sector will likely finance many more of them around the country.

America's economic strength has been built on technological leadership.  The next great technological revolution is the clean energy revolution, and this Administration is committed to making sure that America will continue to lead the world.

Dan Leistikow is the Director, Office of Public Affairs at the Department of Energy


Truthful Take-Off on the Economy

How the GOP made up of: Tea Party and Republicans are using fear-mongering to disrupt anything positive the Democrats attempt.  

Robert Reich Debunks the Six Big Lies About The Economy

From The Uptake -- Reich Debunks Six Big Lies About The Economy:

Is Social Security a Ponzi scheme as Republican Presidential candidate Rick Perry claims? Noted author and former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich debunks that claim and five other lies the right-wing tells about taxes, government and the economy. The lies Reich debunks:

1) Tax cuts to the rich and corporations trickle down to the rest of us. (No it doesn't and it never has.)

2) If you shrink government you create jobs. (No, you get rid of jobs that way.)

3) High taxes on the rich hurts the economy. (No, the economy grew when the US did this under Eisenhower.)

4) Debt is to be avoided and it is mostly caused by Medicare. (No, if debt is properly used to grow the economy, it becomes a smaller part of the budget because of increased revenue and Medicare has the lowest overhead of any health insurance plan out there.)

5) Social Security is a Ponzi scheme (No, its solid for 26 years. Rick Perry is "lying through his teeth" says Reich. Social Security is solid beyond that if the rich pay the same percentage in social security taxes as the rest of us do.)

6) We need to tax the poor. (This is what Republicans have been proposing when they say any tax reform needs to involve all Americans because poor people pay no income tax. The poor have no money and taxing them will not solve our budget problems.)

The worst thing is, because these "facts" from the right-wing are repeated over and over, the media repeats them without challenging them and people accept them as truth. Reich says this is intentional.

"The greatest enemy we have is mass cynicism", said Reich. "When people really get to the point where they think nothing can be done, the other side wins. That's what they want, by the way. That's what they want. They want government because it is starved for money, because it is going to be underfunded - all the regulatory agencies - they want government at all levels to function so badly that people say 'Well government can't work. I told you.' And they also want politics to be so bad and so paralyzed that most Americans say 'Nothing can be done. I'm going to give up on our democracy'."

Reich was speaking at the Summit For A Fair Economy in Minneapolis, Minnesota on September 10, 2011.



Online Business Card for Scotts Contracting

Additional Business Information for Scott's Contracting

Scott's Contracting your Green Building Specialist for the St Louis Area. For us being Green and Eco Friendly is not just a FAD. It has become a lifestyle that we have incorporated into the way we choose to do business and live. Green and Sustainable Home Improvments for your Home or Business. Along with the Normal Repairs or Upgrades- We Provide:Products, Green Design Services, Installation, Construction, Remodel, Rehabbing, and Building Up-Grades
Building Construction, Architecture, Carpentry & Woodworking, Demolition & Site Prep, Electrical, Flooring & Tiling, Insulation, Kitchen & Bathroom, Windows & Doors, Energy Efficiency
Hours of Operation:
Monday:8:00 AM - 5:00 PMTuesday:8:00 AM - 5:00 PMWednesday:8:00 AM - 5:00 PMThursday:8:00 AM - 5:00 PMFriday:8:00 AM - 5:00 PMSaturday:8:00 AM - 5:00 PMSunday:Closed


St Louis Renewable Energy New Web Site

I reactivated the Main Website for St Louis Renewable Energy.  

It can be found by Clicking Here

I will continue posting green news and misc information to the Green Blog http://stlouisrenewableenergy.blogspot.com


Build Notes and Material Suppliers

Build Notes and Material Suppliers for Energy Star Bay Window Build and Installation

  • Existing Wall 2 x4 Framing with zero (0) Insulation or Vapor Barrier
Note: Owners Plan on Adding Insulation in the Future.  Insulation will not be needed in the Bay Window Area at that time.
Bay Window Ceiling, Floor, and Adjacent Wall- R13 Faced Batt Fiber Glass Insulation with 6mil poly VB
  • 2x6 and 2x4 Framing Members @ 16" OC
  • Header Attachments Combination: Liquid Nails, 3/8" x6" Lag Bolts @ 16"OC, 3" Deck Screws
  • Additional Support (Floor & Ceiling) Added to Existing Building Frame. Total 4-2x6
  • Bay Window Roof System and Floor System are Self Supporting
  • Simpson Strong Tie Joist Hangers Utilized for the Bay Window Flooring System
  • 2x4 Staggered Floor Joists utilized for Energy Efficiency and Added Strength
  • Roof Hip and Roof to Existing Wall Flashed for Added Water-Proofing
  • Existing Window Opening was utilized and un-changed 76"x59"
  • Windows: Energy Performance Rated- Soft Light Vinyl Windows
U Factor= 0.46
Solar Heat Gain Coefficient= 0.58
Visible Transmittance= 0.60
Condensation Resistance= 43
  • Roof: 30yr White Asph Shingles, #15 Roofing Felt
  • All Exterior Wood Framing Members and Trim Boards: White Finish or Wrapped with White Aluminum.  To Match Existing Windows on House.
  • All Exterior Joints and Connections Caulked and Sealed with a combination of Silicone Caulking and Spray Foam Insulation (Closed Cell, Window and Door Sealant by Dow)
  • East Property Boundary Line Established by Edge of Existing Side Walk. Distance from East edge of House Foundation to Edge of Side Walk is 71"
Bay Window protrudes 15" from Building.
Leaving 56" Un-obstructed egress
Clear Un-obstructed Distance between Bay Window and East Porch Steps is 38 ½"  

Materials Supplied by

Windows: Berry Door and Window
Lumber and Misc Materials: Home Depot Southtown #3011
Roofing: Roofing Supply Group of St Louis
Flooring: Hampton Flooring
Spray Foam Insulation by: Dow Great Stuff- Door and Window 


Join in MO Sen.C. McCaskills Plan to Stop Trade Cheets and Create American Jobs

Click here to sign on as a citizen co-sponsor of my job-creating legislation to crack down on trade cheats today.

On Wed, Sep 7, 2011 at 8:25 PM, Claire McCaskill <info@clairemccaskill.com> wrote:

Scotty --

Thank you for signing on as a citizen co-sponsor of my plan to stop trade cheats and help create American jobs.

Can you help me build even more support by forwarding the email below to your friends, encouraging them to become citizen co-sponsors, too?



Friend --

Frequently, the best ideas I hear come from Missourians when I travel around the state to visit with folks.

During my latest tour, I talked to workers and business leaders about what Washington can do to spur job creation and improve the economy. I was told about an interesting problem that might never have crossed your radar: duty evasion.

Some foreign companies use unfair trading practices to dump exports into the United States at artificially low prices.

When caught, these cheating companies are assessed a protective tariff -- called a duty -- to level the playing field. But the trade cheats seek out ways to avoid paying the penalty.

I plan to introduce legislation that will allow authorities to crack down on foreign companies that are cheating and will help American businesses create jobs. And I need your help.

Click here to sign on as a citizen co-sponsor of my job-creating legislation to crack down on trade cheats today.

Put simply, it hurts American manufacturers when companies evade these duties. What's worse, the companies often disappear before authorities can prosecute them.

We need to empower trade authorities to track down and prosecute the rule-breakers so American manufacturers can compete on a level playing field and create more jobs.

Click here to become a citizen co-sponsor of my job-creating trade legislation today and send Republicans a message about creating jobs.

When American businesses compete on a level playing field, they win. That means more jobs for Missourians and a better economy, so we all win. But we need to bring accountability to foreign companies who are gaming the system and putting our businesses at a disadvantage.

That's the message I heard from the business community in Missouri during my recent jobs tour -- and that's what I'm going to tell my colleagues in Washington.

Together, we can fix this problem. Help me make sure they get the message loud and clear.

Thank you for taking action,

Claire McCaskill

Paid for by McCaskill for Missouri

Final Bay Window Build Pictures

Energy Star Bay Window Build Photos by Scotts Contracting

Bay Window CAD and Build Notes
Floor Plan for Bay Window Permit

Before Photo of Home Before Bay Window

Bay Window CAD Detail
Before Bay Window Installation
Bay Window Framing

Final Bay Window Photo

After Bay Window Installation- Final Photo
Home was Originally Built using Square Nails- Found while removing the Existing Siding for Bay Window Installation
Interior View of Prefinished Oak Flooring 

Installing R13 Fiberglass Batt Insulation

Scotty, Scotts Contracting- Testing the Bay Window Floor for Strength
Final Photo- Another Job Well Done, On-Time, and On Budget
Bay Window Oak Flooring Photo

Build Photo


Additional Reasons Solar Panels are a Good Investment for your Building

  • Solar Panels Shade(1) your Roof
    • Thus helps lower your Summertime Cooling Costs because: Study Shows a building's ceiling was five degrees cooler under solar energy panels than under an exposed roof.
  • Solar Panels Protect your Roof
    • Thus increasing the Lifetime Expectancy of your Roof


Scott's Contracting - Saint Louis, MO - Green Builder in Saint Louis, Missouri

Mantra Small Business Listing for
Scott's Contracting, St Louis Renewable Energy - Saint Louis, MO - Home Builder in Saint Louis, Missouri

Mo. lawmakers seek to end tax break for poor

MO State Wire
Published: Yesterday

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The downturn in the economy already had cost Kim Ellis more than half of her clients at her small janitorial business. Her troubles were doubled by her vehicle, which after nearly 300,000 miles had saddled her with thousands of dollars in repairs and cast doubt on her ability to work.

Thanks in part to a $750 state tax credit for certain low-income residents, Ellis has at least solved her transportation problem. She used the money from the state income tax break to pay the sales taxes and licensing fees on the purchase of a newer, used car.

"It helped me quite a bit," Ellis said, "and I would hate for them to take it away."

Yet during a special session that starts Tuesday, Missouri lawmakers are poised to repeal the low-income tax credit that benefits at least 106,000 disabled and elderly residents living in rental housing. The move could save the state $855 million over 15 years, and some lawmakers want to redirect a portion of that money to new tax breaks intended to lure Chinese cargo planes to the St. Louis airport and more businesses to Missouri.

Advocates for the disabled and senior citizens are gearing up to fight the tax-credit repeal. But they may face a tough battle, because the elimination of the so-called "circuit breaker" tax credit for low-income renters is the single largest budgetary savings being proposed to offset the cost of the new business incentives.

Supporters of the special-session proposal contend Missouri must do something dramatic to spur job growth - even if it means less money in the pockets of the poor.

"While we're not very happy with the elimination of some provisions that help people in need, we've got to get our people to work if we're ever going to have enough money in the state coffers again to support human need issues," said Herb Johnson, secretary-treasurer of the Missouri AFL-CIO, which has joined the Missouri Chamber Commerce and Industry in backing the plan.

Since 1973, Missouri has offered a state income tax break intended to offset the property taxes or rent payments of low-income seniors. Over the years, that "circuit breaker" tax break has been expanded to also cover the disabled and the surviving spouses of deceased seniors.

For the 2010 tax year, Missouri paid out nearly $117 million in such tax breaks, with about $57 million going to people in rental housing.

Last year, the Missouri Tax Credit Review Commission - appointed by Gov. Jay Nixon - recommended the tax break be eliminated for renters but continued for homeowners under the theory that renters do not directly pay property taxes. Nixon initially opposed the recommendation, saying in December that the challenging economy made it an especially bad time to end the tax break for the poor.

"Maintaining the ability of seniors to get those income-eligible circuit breakers - whether they rent or whether they own - is an important consumer protection," Nixon said in December.

But the Democratic governor has now changed his position. Last week, Nixon said he could support ending the tax credit for renters, so long as an equivalent amount of money is dedicated to be spent on senior services. Nixon said his administration is working with lawmakers drafting the legislation to include a fund earmarked for senior citizen programs.

But state Sen. Chuck Purgason, who hopes to handle the legislation, said the fund amounts to little more than a political gimmick. If it's not immediately the case, politicians would eventually use the money from the dedicated fund to offset cuts in other sources of revenue for senior programs - resulting in little net gain for seniors, Purgason said.

"The reality of it is, if you're going to believe politicians are going to set up a fund and appropriate to senior programs, that is another wool over the eyes of taxpayers," said Purgason, R-Caulfield.

That's what stokes the concerns of people such as Minnie May, 75, who recently sold her house in the southeast Missouri town of Patterson and moved into a small rental home in nearby Piedmont. May, whose gets $686 a month in Social Security payments, said she has received about $300 annually from Missouri's homeowner tax credit, which she has used to help pay her bills. Now that she lives in a rented home, May's tax break could be in jeopardy.

May uses an analogy from her farming background to describe her distaste for the legislative proposal.

"When one chicken plucks a feather out of another chicken, all the other chickens do too until there's nothing left of the chicken," May said. "And that's just what these lawmakers are doing, they're taking one feather off at a time until the elderly and disabled have nothing. And there's just no need of it, absolutely no need of it."

Ellis, 43, of south St. Louis County, has received the income tax break for renters because of her disabilities, which include rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. She calls the proposal to end the tax credit "one of the worst ideas ever."

"I think they're making a big mistake if they were to get rid of it, especially now," Ellis said. "People need something they can depend on."


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