Thursday, April 23, 2009

Nixon: Ameren Wouldn't Budge

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Governor Jay Nixon suggested Thursday that Ameren UE's unwillingness to negotiate killed a plan that would have allowed the power company to construct a new nuclear plant.
"Adding . . . 15, 20, 30, 40 percent to businesses and individuals bills in the short run in this economy right now, I don't think is the right thing to do," Nixon said at a media availability in Columbia. "They came in with a position and that position never really shifted," he added later.
The legislative proposal -- that now appears to be dead -- would have allowed the utility to charge customers for some of the costs of the plant before it was fully operational. Nixon said he had hoped for a 2-step process, but said he didn't think Ameren has "ever absorbed that point."
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A spokesman for the Fair Electricity Rate Action Fund (FERAF), a group that fought to kill the bill, said it was unfortunate Ameren took "a my way or the highway approach."
"If and when Ameren is ever willing to enter into honest negotiations which don’t imperil Missouri’s energy consumers, we at FERAF will be happy to discuss their proposal further," said FERAF spokesman Gregg Keller.
Irl Scissors, Executive Director of Missourians for a Balanced Energy Future (MBEF), replied: "There is no question that Missouri lost today."

"We lost a $6 billion investment in our state that would have created the largest construction project in Missouri history. We lost the creation of 3,000 good-paying jobs in a time of record unemployment. We lost millions of dollars that would have gone to local governments for public safety and education. And equally important, we lost the prospect of expanding reliable nuclear power in Missouri to meet our growing future baseload energy needs," said Scissors.

1 comment:

Cass Politics said...

While bringing more jobs to MO certainly sounds like a great idea, I don't know that this plan would have worked out. Gov. Nixon is right that this is a bad time to increase bills for Missourians just to bring this one business here.

It's too bad there wasn't more negotiating going on.