Coalition objects to hike in rates
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Coalition objects to hike in rates

Date: March 30, 2009
By: Nathan Higgins
State Capitol Bureau
Links: SB 228

Intro: On the eve of a possible Senate committee vote, opponents voiced opinions against a bill that would raise electric rates for consumers.

Nathan Higgins has more from the State Capitol. 

RunTime:0:43
OutCue: SOC

The bill would repeal current CWIP laws, which prevent utility companies from charging customers higher rates while construction is in progress.

Coalition members of the Missourians for Fair Electric Rates voiced concern over AmerenUE's proposed ten-billion dollar reactor project.

Coalition member Kathleen Smith said consumers should be worried about AmerenUE's plan to increase rates.

 

Actuality:  SMITH3.WAV
Run Time: 00:11
Description: "The entire economy is turned on its head and we are in a recession, you know, because no one was regulating these big money deals. And, that's not a direction we need to go."


Smith repeatedly said the current system works and the industry does not need deregulation.

In Jefferson City, I'm Nathan Higgins, News Radio, 11-20 KMOX.


Intro: The Missourians for Fair Electric Rates coalition argued to protect utility rates for consumers during a press conference Monday.

Nathan Higgins has more from the State Capitol.

RunTime:0:47
OutCue: SOC

Coalition members say AmerenUE wants to raise electric rates to help pay for a new ten-billion dollar reactor at the Callaway County power plant.

Current CWIP laws or construction work in progress prevent utility companies from raising rates before construction is completed.

The Senate Commerce Committee will hear the CWIP bill Tuesday that would repeal the current law.

The coalition, including member Kathleen Smith, spoke against the bill.

 

Actuality:  SMITH.WAV
Run Time: 00:13
Description: "The bottom line for all of us is that it's ridiculously unfair. And the bills that have been drafted have been described as a wish list which is accurate. They've been described as a blank check which is exceedingly accurate."

Smith says the bill would allow AmerenUE to raise rates as high as it wants.

In Jefferson City, I'm Nathan Higgins, News Radio 11-20 KMOX.


Intro: Coalition members wearing badges saying "NO CWIP" gathered in a press conference Monday to rally against a bill they consider to be the greatest threat to Missouri consumers in a decade.

Nathan Higgins has more from the State Capitol.

RunTime:0:45
OutCue: SOC

Members of the Missourians for Fair Electric Rates said the CWIP bill would raise consumer utility rates 40-percent.

The CWIP bill or construction while in progress would allow AmerenUE to charge consumers higher rates before the reactor is finished.

Coalition member Mark Haim says AmerenUE's plan to avoid debt is bad.

 

Actuality:  HAIM.WAV
Run Time: 00:10
Description: "The immediate economic consequences are negative. Investing in new nuclear plants is very foolish waste of resources just because it's so expensive and takes so long to build."

Haim also said trying to find other energy saving methods will help create jobs for Missourians in the near future.

Tuesday the Senate Commerce Committee will hear the bill that would repeal the current CWIP law.

In Jefferson City, I'm Nathan Higgins, News Radio 11-20 KMOX.


Intro: The Missouri Senate Commerce committee will hear a bill Tuesday that would repeal the CWIP law that has already received much opposition.

Nathan Higgins has more from the State Capitol.

RunTime:0:41
OutCue: SOC

The current CWIP law keeps utility businesses from charging consumers higher rates while construction is in progress.

The new bill would change that.

Thanks to AmerenUE's proposed ten-billion dollar reactor, the issue has come under heavy fire from consumers who don't want higher electric bills.

Republican Senator Kurt Schaefer proposed a substitute to the measure that questions long term energy policy and would reduce the estimated 40 percent rate increase.

 

Actuality:  SCHAEFER.WAV
Run Time: 00:06
Description: Some of the concerns I've raised previously about not having sufficient consumer choices, those are addressed in the substitute.


Schaefer also said AmerenUE could build a plant now and then raise rates.

In Jefferson City, I'm Nathan Higgins, News Radio 11-20 KMOX.