Ameren

(via Flickr/John Picken)

A resolution voicing support for embattled homeowners at the Lake of the Ozarks was passed unanimously Tuesday by a Missouri House committee.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Nixon heading to Brazil

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon will be heading to Brazil on a trade mission later this month.

Nixon planned to announce more details of the trip during news conferences today in Springfield and Independence.

Last year, Missouri businesses sold $323 million worth of products to Brazil, which ranked as the state's 10th largest export market. Nixon's trip to the South American nation comes about six months after he led a trade delegation to China. Missouri's international exports totaled $14.1 billion in 2011, an all-time high.

(via Flickr/[F]oxymoron)

Updated 5:08 p.m.

Ameren Missouri is seeking approval from state regulators to raise electricity rates by almost 15 percent. Ameren President and CEO Warner Baxter said the company needs the additional $376 million to cover infrastructure upgrades and higher fuel costs. 

"With this electric rate increase filing," he said, "we are simply seeking to recover the costs and investments we have made to meet our customers' expectations for a safe and reliable clean energy." 

(via Flickr/John Picken)

Ameren Missouri has filed a plan with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) ensuring that some 1600 homes at the Lake of the Ozarks are not threatened with removal.

The plan revises the shoreline boundary so that most of the homes are not encroaching onto land that is part of Ameren’s Bagnell Dam hydroelectric project. Concerns were raised in July when FERC ordered that structures may need to be removed if they encroach onto the project’s land.

(via Flickr/lobo235)

Updated 5:42 p.m. with comment from Ameren.

Ameren Missouri is pledging to increase its energy efficiency programs starting in 2013.

The company's filing today with the Public Service Commission would represent a complete change of course for Ameren, which had cut its energy efficiency programs from $33 million in 2011 down to as low as $5 million this year.

(via Flickr/Fergus Randall)

Illinois regulators have given Ameren Corp. permission to raise natural gas rates by about $32 million but a watchdog group says it will appeal the decision.

The Illinois Commerce Commission said Wednesday that it will allow Missouri-based Ameren to raise its natural gas rates by 1.2 percent to 5.4 percent depending where customers live. They would go up starting later this month.

The Citizens Utility Board said Thursday it will appeal the decision.

Flickr/Nerissa's ring

Tests on infant formula find no trace of deadly bacteria

Illinois-based Mead Johnson says another batch of tests done on its Enfamil Premium Newborn infant formula found no trace of the bacteria tied to the death of a Missouri baby.

Preliminary hospital tests indicated 10-day-old Avery Cornett died Dec. 18 of a rare infection caused by bacteria known as Cronobacter sakazakii. The source of the bacteria hasn't been determined, but it can be found in powdered formula. Avery had consumed Enfamil Newborn formula.

Credit: Pujols Family Foundation

Pujols Family Foundation to remain in St. Louis

The iconic Cardinals slugger is signing with the Angels and taking his talents to Los Angeles, raising some concerns about what will happen with the Pujols Family Foundation that benefits people with Down syndrome. But executive director Todd Perry told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch  that the foundation will remain active in St. Louis, though it could expand to include programs in the Los Angeles area. He isn't yet sure if the headquarters will remain in St. Louis.

(via Flickr/350[sic])

Reporting from Illinois Public Radio's Sean Crawford used in this report.

Yet another change has been announced regarding the long awaited FutureGen coal project. Ameren's announcement over the summer that it was closing a coal fired power plant in Meredosia, Ill. was more than just a normal business decision.  It cast doubt on the FutureGen project since that Morgan County plant was to be retrofitted and used to demonstrate a different way to use coal. 

Véronique LaCapra / St. Louis Public Radio

Seven of Ameren Missouri's 12 coal ash ponds inspected for structural integrity by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have been rated "poor."

(Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio)

A new report released today by Environment Missouri shows power plants in the state produce more airborne mercury than 46 other states.

The report, which uses data from the Environmental Protection Association's toxic inventory release, found that of the nearly 4,000 pounds of mercury that Missouri's 17 coal-fired power plants released in 2010, more than 70 percent came from four plants owned by Ameren Missouri.

(via Flickr/John Picken)

Ameren Missouri says it plans to file a proposal early next year to resolve the controversy about the status of some homes and other buildings at the Lake of the Ozarks.

The lake is formed by a dam operated by Ameren. Some residents fear that structures built on land belonging to Ameren's hydroelectric project may have to be removed in light of a July decision by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

(via Flickr/lobo235)

A Missouri appeals court has upheld a 2009 decision by state utility regulators to approve a rate increase for Ameren Missouri.

The Missouri Public Service Commission in January 2009 approved a more than $160 million electric rate increase for Ameren customers. That was challenged by Noranda Aluminum Inc. and the public counsel, who represents ratepayers before the commission.

Franklin County residents hold up signs to show their opposition to Ameren's landfill plans at a meeting of the county commission in 2011, just before the commission voted to change its zoning regulations to allow coal ash landfills.
Véronique LaCapra | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 4:43 p.m.

The Franklin County Board of Commissioners has approved its controversial landfill zoning regulations, opening the door for Ameren to build a coal ash landfill in Labadie, Mo.

(via Flickr/[F]oxymoron)

An announcement Friday from St. Louis-based Ameren Corporation says that the company is offering certain employees an opportunity to retire early. Ameren is an electric and natural gas utility provider for many residents of the St. Louis region.

The move comes as a cost management measure during what the company calls a "challenging economic period."

According to Ameren, here are the requirements for employees to be eligible for the offer:

(Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio)

Update: 9:45 a.m. Oct 6:

Projected schedule for the Franklin County landfill zoning regulation:

Flickr/Asthma Helper

Mo. Senate to consider new measure repealing teacher social media restrictions

A Mo. Senate committee has endorsed a measure to repeal a contentious new law restricting teachers' interaction with students over websites such as Facebook. The Senate Education Committee voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to repeal the law.

The action comes after  a Mo. judge issued an order in September blocking the new law from taking effect, citing concerns that it could violate free speech rights.

(via Isle of Capri Casino)

Isle of Capri begins to take shape

Convoys of trucks began arriving Tuesday night at the construction site for the Isle of Capri casino in Cape Girardeau with concrete for the foundation. The Southeast Missourian reports that crews worked for nearly 12 hours, pouring more than 2,100 cubic yards of concrete.

The $125 million Isle of Capri is scheduled to open in late 2012. Features are expected to include three restaurants, a terrace overlooking the river and a 750-seat event center.

(via Flickr/[F]oxymoron)

 Opponents of Ameren Illinois’ $90 million rate increase request are gearing up for a hard fight.

The Citizens Utility Board (CUB) and the AARP held a series of press conferences today to explain why they want state regulators to reject the proposal. Ameren Illinois is asking for an exorbitant “return on equity,” which is the allowed profit rate for shareholders, according to CUB senior policy analyst Bryan McDaniel.

Ameren's coal-fired plant in Labadie.
Veronique LaCapra | St. Louis Public Radio

Labadie, Mo. is a town about 35 miles from St. Louis that might be described as “quaint” and “quiet.” But for the past two years, a controversy between some town residents and Ameren Missouri, an electric company that has a power plant situated in the Missouri River bottoms near Labadie, has sparked a lively local discourse. It concerns the ash that’s leftover from burning coal at the plant. Johanna Mayer has this report.

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