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CWIP backers and opponents rally in Jefferson City

By Marshall Griffin, KWMU

Jefferson City, MO – Supporters and opponents of power plant legislation rallied today in Jefferson City.

The bill at the center of it all would make it easier for St. Louis-based AmerenUE to build a second nuclear reactor in central Missouri.

More than a hundred people stood on the north lawn of the State Capitol to support legislation that would allow exemptions to the Construction Work in Progress law (CWIP).

The law bars utilities from charging customers for new power plants while they're being built.

Supporters, including State Senator Delbert Scott (R, Lowry City), say passing the bill would create more jobs and benefit the environment.

"This is a good bill that will provide clean, reliable, no-carbon-footprint energy for Missourians for years and years to come," Scott said.

Meanwhile, a small group of AARP members picketed AmerenUE's Jefferson City offices. Ron Sergent spoke for the demonstrators.

"They want us to pay for this at the beginning, and at the end, if it's ever completed, what we paid for it we won't even own...it will belong to Ameren, and that's too much of a risk to ask utility rate payers to take," Sergent said.

The bill has been blocked in the Senate by a filibuster led by State Senator Jason Crowell (R, Cape Girardeau).

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