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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Seven of Ameren Missouri's ash ponds have been rated 'poor' by the Environmental Protection Agency. Ameren’s power plant near Labadie, Mo. (pictured) has been at the center of a recent debate about a proposed coal ash landfill near the plant.
Credit (Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio)