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Ameren

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 30, 2009 - About two-and-a-half hours south of St. Louis, Ameren is turning one of its most public disasters into an engineering showcase. The upper reservoir at the Taum Sauk hydroelectricity plant is being rebuilt -- and is setting new standards for reservoir safety, according to the utility.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 8, 2009 - AmerenUE says it is keeping its application to build a nuclear power plant alive while it considers all of its options, but it is keeping a tight lid on what those options are.

Last month, when it became clear that its effort to have ratepayers pay for financing the multibillion-dollar facility would not succeed in the Missouri Legislature, AmerenUE CEO Thomas R. Voss said the utility "is suspending its efforts to build a nuclear power plant in Missouri."

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 23, 2009 - Stymied by a lack of movement on legislation it pushed in Jefferson City, AmerenUE today said it is abandoning its plans to build a second nuclear power plant in mid-Missouri.

President and CEO Thomas R. Voss told a news conference at AmerenUE headquarters that the company is asking legislative sponsors to withdraw bills that would have allowed customers to be charged for finance costs for the $6 billion plant.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 22, 2009 - At a press conference Thursday morning, AmerenUE announced that it would no longer seek to build a second nuclear plant. That news came following a consensus in Jefferson City that the CWIP bill would not pass this session.

AmerenUE had spent $75 million on licensing fees and other preparatory work. Those costs will not be passed on to the ratepayers, the company said. 

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 14, 2009 - As the Missouri Legislature heads back into session Tuesday, lawmakers will be once again be deluged with the debate over a bill that would get rid of the state law that bars AmerenUE from charging ratepayers for the financing costs related to a proposed nuclear plant.

CWIP refers to the law's ban against utility charges for Construction Works in Progress.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 7, 2009 - The ads promise straight talk, but AmerenUE customers who have been bombarded with TV spots on both sides of the increasingly contentious debate over how to pay for a possible new nuclear plant might easily feel like they've been thrown a series of curves.

The battle began with a stark ad from the Fair Electricty Rate Action Fund, opponents of the utility's efforts to be allowed to charge ratepayers for financing a new plant -- if it even decides to build one.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 3, 2009 - State Sen. John Griesheimer voted to send a controversial bill on funding a nuclear power plant out of committee, but don't think he is looking forward to attending a signing ceremony any time soon.

In fact, the Republican from Washington, Mo., has denounced the legislation -- SB 228 --- as "a fiasco from day one" and flatly declared that "there's no way it's going to pass this year."

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 1, 2009 - In recent days, a crack seems to be developing in Missouri Republican ranks over two of the biggest issues facing the Legislature:

--Gov. Jay Nixon's repeated efforts to restore Medicaid coverage to some of the tens of thousands who were dropped off the rolls in 2005, in part with the cooperation of the state's hospitals.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 25, 2009 - The current debate over a possible second nuclear power plant for Missouri involves issues ranging from safety to energy conservation to environmental quality.

But for many consumers, the most pressing question will be the bottom line on their monthly electric bill.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 23, 2009 - To understand the fight over the future of coal on the U.S. energy menu, you have to pay attention to the words used by those who support burning more coal as a relatively inexpensive, abundant energy source in the United States.

You also must pay close heed to opponents who believe a commitment to "clean coal technology" -- a term that they mock as self-contradictory -- is taking this country down the wrong path.

Commentary: Do away with CWIP restrictions

Mar 22, 2009

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 22, 2009 - AmerenUE hopes to persuade legislators to rescind the 1976 law that prevents utilities from funding expansions by charging current customers to pay for the financing and interest charges for projects that are still under construction. The law was passed by voters in a referendum as part of an attempt by anti-nuclear power activists to stop the construction of the first Callaway Nuclear Generating Station.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 19, 2009 - A coalition of area business groups, has announced that it's endorsing efforts in the Missouri Legislature to repeal the state's construction work in progress law (CWIP), a move sought by electricity utility AmerenUE to help it pay the financing costs for a proposed new nuclear plant.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 2, 2009 - AmerenUE says it isn't even sure whether it will actually apply for a license to operate a second nuclear power plant in mid-Missouri, but debate on the issue is already generating sparks among several traditional antagonists - and some historical friends.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 27, 2009 - Ameren chief Richard Mark issued the following the statement in regard to Gov. Jay Nixon's stance (detailed below) on a measure, backed by the utility, that would allow it charge Missouri customers for the financing in connection with a proposed new nuclear plant. As it stands, a 1970s law bars such charges before the plant is in operation.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 11, 2009 - AmerenUE and other Missouri utilities are attempting to overturn a 1976 consumer protection law in order to pay for the construction of a $6 billion nuclear power plant. The law, called the No Construction Work In Progress (No-CWIP), makes it illegal for utility companies to charge rate-payers for power plants before they are fully constructed. State Sen. Delbert Scott, R-Lowry City, is sponsoring Senate Bill 228 , which, if passed, would permit the utility to charge higher rates to consumers so it can have lower finance charges while building the plant.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 27, 2008 - Heat-Up St. Louis knows the drill.

Requests for energy assistance tend to spike following snowy and icy conditions such as those that swept through the area recently. This year, though, has been different. Many households were desperate for help long before the start of winter.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 16, 2008 - If you're searching for a bright spot amid the recent series of economic shocks -- nest eggs cracked, jobs lost, budgets busted, energy costs at painful levels -- proponents of Proposition C on the Nov. 4 ballot think they have an answer.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 17, 2008 - In an ironic twist, concern over the environment -- global warming and greenhouse gas emissions -- may help revive the long dormant nuclear power industry in the United States. For the first time since 1978, applications for new licenses to build new plants are being submitted. Moreover, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has already extended the licenses of roughly half the 104 nuclear plants already on line, which produce about 20 percent of the nation's electricity. 

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