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.